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Our Pier-less leader loses big tax bucks – fan Pier and Seaport District lay undeveloped

The Herald’s Scott Van Voorhis adds his own two-cents about the lack of progress in the Fan Pier / Seaport District area, and puts the blame squarely on the back of Mayor Menino.

Boston homeowners are getting socked with skyrocketing tax.  And Mayor Thomas M. Menino, in full campaign mode, is pointing fingers.  He’s blasting the Massachusetts Port Authority, an old whipping boy, for not sharing more of the largesse from its Logan operations.And he’s going hard these days after property tax dodging telecom companies.

But there is another, more likely culprit for the tax woes of city homeowners.  And it’s one you probably won’t hear Menino fuming about anytime soon.  Try the development debacle on South Boston’s still largely windswept waterfront.

City officials began talking up plans for a gleaming new harborside neighborhood of parks, office and condo high-rises and marinas years, even decades ago.  More than one boom and bust cycle has come and gone.  But the core of the Hub’s long-touted development frontier, South Boston’s waterfront, remains an uncultivated urban wilderness.

Fan Pier and Anthony’s Pier 4 may boast spectacular harborside perches and city approved development plans for millions of square feet of new development.  And long-time Hub developer and Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt’s tract just across Northern Avenue has the potential for even more.

But all three remain stubbornly untouched in their natural state, so to speak – as unsightly surface parking lots.  And that’s bad news for city taxpayers. At stake is tens of millions – maybe as much as $60 million a year – in extra revenue.  That’s real money.  Enough to knock a couple hundred bucks off the tax bill of the average homeowner.  More than the $40 million-plus that Menino hopes to get by closing a telecom property tax loophole.

Who’s to blame?

Source: Our Pier-less leader loses big tax bucks – Scott Van Voorhis, The Boston Herald