December 20, 2010

Commercial Tax Base

We need to grow our Commercial base, everyone knows that.  How ?  There needs to be a short-term and long-term plan.
  • Long-term we need to get way from the lowest residential rate every year and close the gap.  A small closing of the gap, however, will not spur growth in the commercial base overnight.  It will take a clow steady closing of the gap every year and it will over time make a huge difference.
  • Short-term, a Philly plan targeting underutilized commercial properties and buildings.  
If we can do both, we will be able to grow the Commercial tax base.  


Anonymous said...

Can you back any of those opinions up with fact?

I didn't think so.

Steve Foley said...

Bill wrote: "We need to grow our Commercial base, everyone knows that."

It seems that not everyone knows that. Certainly not the Worcester City Council.

But you really can't expect a statement like "everybody knows that" to go unchallenged, can you?

The towns surrounding Worcester don't see any compelling need to grow their commercial base. They're perfectly happy to be bedroom communities. It seems that Worcester has chosen a similar course.

If you want to convince people to do away with dual tax rates (and crack open their wallets a little wider), you'll need something more convincing than "everybody know that"

Bill Randell said...


Completely disagree with you. Every single city councilor knows the importance of growing our commercial tax base.

At the same time they pander to their voting base and vote lowest residential rate each year to stay in office. We are starting to see a change in this attitude.

Make no mistake even those who ote lowest residential every year say they want to increase the commercial base.


Steve Foley said...

"Every single city councilor knows the importance of growing our commercial tax base."

Their actions indicate otherwise.

I believe that they are merely paying lip service to the business owners.

David Z. said...


I totally disagree that every town around Worcester is content to be bedroom communities. Just recently Auburn voted to start narrowing the gap between residential and commercial to make sure they remain attractive to business. I bet you that Julie Jacobson can’t wait to get started as the Auburn town manager and use the tax rate disparity with Worcester to her and Auburn’s advantage.

My parents live in Millbury and they too just decided to stick with a single rate to attract commercial development. Same with Sutton who probably is one of the communities surrounding Worcester that has been historically nothing more than a bedroom community. In fact if it wasn’t for the economic downturn, the existing Sutton Square plaza would be well on its way to an expansion to include a supermarket and several additional stores. The downturn also claimed a major shopping center already fully permitted anchored by a Lowe’s in Sutton on Rt. 146 NB.

This is just three examples of surrounding towns that don’t sound like their content to be bedroom communities. Once the economy starts rebounding, these towns will be first out of the gate in attracting commercial development because of their more favorable tax structure than Worcester.

Bill Randell said...


Jahn is proud of you right now.


Steve Foley said...

David, while I don't disagree with what you've written, you are still ignoring the underlying question: "Why do we need to grow our commercial tax base".

My statement was that simply claiming that "everybody knows that" does nothing to answer the question.

Citing examples of other communities that agree also does nothing to answer WHY it should be done.

Simply repeating to the city council that this needs to be don, without providing any argument as to WHY it should be done is pretty pointless.

Maybe if you get a megaphone and repeat the same unsubstantiated claims louder they will listen.

Bill Randell said...


If you don't grow the commercial tax base, who does the burden fall on??

The residents!!! That is why everyone knows we know to grow the commercial tax base--to lessen the burden on the residents.

The most ironic thing about the dual tax rate was that it was suppose to give residents a break. 25 years later is has actuallt done the complete opposite.


Anonymous said...

Guys, consider this. Worcester is a service economy. Formulate your arguments around that instead of talking nonsense.