Municipal Government

Tax that dirty water

Tax that dirty water

Communities impose new stormwater fees to deal with pollution

LISA MURPHY DOESN’T have any control over how much rain or snow falls on her property in Milton, but she is nevertheless being charged a special fee for stormwater runoff. The fee is calculated based on the amount of impervious surface on her property—her paved driveway and patio as well as the footprint of her(...)

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Senate goes light on short-term rental regs

Senate goes light on short-term rental regs

Lodging industry pans bill as a gift to Airbnb and other home-sharing apps

THE MASSACHUSETTS SENATE has passed its bill for short-term-rentals, a stripped-down version of the House measure that simplifies the tax on hosts and eliminates any tiered structure so that people offering a single room in their home are treated the same as the investor with scores of units for rent. The Senate bill, passed on(...)

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Walsh wants to hike parking fines

Walsh wants to hike parking fines

Boston mayor proposes increased penalties to raise $5 million for transportation needs

BOSTON MAYOR MARTY WALSH will unveil a $5 million plan to improve the city’s transportation system, ranging from repaving roads and sidewalks to creating dedicated bus lanes, and plans to hike parking violation fines to pay for the effort. Walsh plans to include the money in his fiscal 2019 budget to be unveiled Tuesday and(...)

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City stalls on Yawkey name change

City stalls on Yawkey name change

Commission puts off vote after hearing on Sox owner’s legacy

A STANDING-ROOM ONLY crowd, including reclusive former Red Sox CEO John Harrington making an emotional plea to retain the street’s moniker, left disappointed after a Boston commission charged with overseeing the city’s public ways unexpectedly delayed a controversial vote to rename Yawkey Way on Thursday. The city’s Public Improvement Commission, which had been slated to(...)

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Walsh pulls Airbnb proposal

Walsh pulls Airbnb proposal

Mayor says more time needed to enact regulations

JUST HOURS BEFORE the Boston City Council was set to vote – and likely reject – Mayor Marty Walsh’s proposed ordinance to regulate short-term rentals such as those listed on Airbnb, he withdrew his bill and said he’d come up with another “in the coming weeks.” “During a robust process, including s public hearing and(...)

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With more control, communities choose clean energy

With more control, communities choose clean energy

Aggregation saves money while meeting climate goals

ACROSS MASSACHUSETTS, COMMUNITIES are taking control over where their energy comes from. By leveraging local bulk purchasing power, more than 100 towns and cities in the Bay State have increased the amount of renewable energy they buy each year, while at the same time producing savings for consumers. Community Choice Energy (CCE, also known as(...)

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Rosenberg suggests House to blame for Airbnb inaction

Rosenberg suggests House to blame for Airbnb inaction

Senator says ‘it’s not rocket science’ to craft regulations

SEN. STAN ROSENBERG chastised his fellow lawmakers on Thursday for dithering for years while the short-term rental industry embedded itself in the market and grew unencumbered by regulations and the lodging tax “It’s not going away, technology is not going away,” said Rosenberg, who was part of a CommonWealth magazine Newsmakers panel discussing how Beacon Hill(...)

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The Airbnb gold rush is on

The Airbnb gold rush is on

Whole buildings, like this one in Chinatown, are being converted into hotels

Photographs by Ken Richardson AIRBNB, LIKE THE draw of ride-hailing apps to car owners, started with the premise that your home can make you a little extra money by renting out rooms to travelers looking to save a few dollars. Empty-nesters, they said, could rent out junior’s bedroom now that he’s moved out and put(...)

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Mayor of firsts

Mayor of firsts

Yvonne Spicer says she’s undaunted by new challenges—a good trait for the first person to serve as mayor of Framingham.

Photographs by Frank Curran YVONNE SPICER, like a  lot of her fellow Framingham residents, freely admits that she voted against the charter question to make the state’s biggest town a mid-sized city. But once the measure passed by the thinnest of margins, the former teacher and vice president of the Museum of Science did what(...)

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