Boston parking spaces

Boston parking spaces

A Beacon Hill and Back Bay real estate person brought to our attention an interesting issue that we previously hadn’t been aware of: Deeded parking spaces going untaxed, sometimes for decades, in the city.

Most parking spaces are deeded along with the homes that they’re attached to in Boston. So their value is rolled into the overall valuation of the rest of the property – and therefore taxed.

But we’ve all heard of separate deeds for coveted parking easements and spaces, some of which can sell for $100,000 to $300,000 in upscale neighborhoods. It turns out that, sometimes, somehow, the city misses creation of those separately owned spaces – and may not have taxed them as a result.

The person we spoke to said he knows of a few Back Bay parking spaces, with separate deeds, that he recently learned hadn’t paid separate taxes since the 1980s. He provided documentation to us verifying that the city acknowledges this and is working on ways to correct similar parking-space deed omissions.

Not that we advocate higher taxes for people. The lower the taxes, the better, in our view. But think about it: How many other people own parking spaces – and could one day get whacked with a tax bill dating back decades? Is it just a handful or is the number in the dozens or hundreds or higher? How much money has the city failed to collect?

With so many condo conversions over the past few decades, you have to wonder.

File under: Tax shock

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Updated: 1st Quarter 2018.

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