— Quincy Massachusetts News by Quincy Quarry News – News, Opinion and Commentary


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Hey big spender!
A Quincy Quarry News exclusive file photo image

Quincy homeowners are going to be hit with an 8.3% increase on average on their property taxes ccome 2024 so as to primarily fund Quincy Mayor Thomas P. Koch’s duly calculated 9.7% record-breaking going away Fiscal Year 2024 city budget spending increase.

The pocket-picking residential property tax increase imposed at last night’s City Council meeting was all but spot on with Quincy Quarry News’ Financial and Other Affairs desk’s projection of an 8.5% median projected early last August.

In fact, the Quarry’s quants pretty much nailed it with their prognostications in spite of all but abject lack of transparency by the Koch Machine on even the most mundane of data.

Conversely, local commercial property tax bills continue their long ongoing trend of staying level to declining slightly given that market values have soared on residential properties whereas commercial property values and thus their tax assessments have have not and so in turn caused the tax incidence to increasingly shift to falling upon residential property owners. 

Failing hard upon local homeowners..

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“Place your bets and follow the Queen!”
A file photo image

Even more troubling were clear indications of problems with the city’s financial future. 

For example, Mayor Koch sought and received approval from the City Council to tap various City of Quincy reserve funds to mitigate 2024 property tax bill increases. 

One tapping by the mayor was taking down the City of Quincy’s “Rainy Day” Stabilization Fund by $5 million as as to mitigate the average residential property tax bill by $125.

At the same time, this hit to the Rainy Day fund will take it down to roughly but 22% what is considered to be the low end of the Best Practices range for municipalities emergency reserves even though Mayor Koch’s tapping of the fund is not an emergency.

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Angry city employees AND local taxpayers?
;An old Universal Pictures image

Other than his own personal well-being, that is.

He also tapped the city employee’s pension fund by $5.25 million and so avoided having to impose a further personally perilous increase on the average residential property tax of a bit over $130. 

Further, Mayor Koch pretty much drained the Other Post Employment Benefits reserve with a $1.5 million withdraw that cut the average residential assessed value tax bill by $37.

So what, apparently, for the fact that the OPEB obligations for the City of Quincy are underfunded by roughly $600 million dollars.

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Tapped out, binge eating – whatever …
A file photo image

Absent these problematic reserve fund cookie jar tappings literally on National Cookie Day, the average assessed value residential tax bill would have gone up by $823, a 55% increase upon the painful increase instead inflicted and would have thus been an unlucky 13% tax increase from their 2023 tax bills.

Net/net, the city’s financial affairs are such that next year’s residential property tax increase will likely also be considerable with the year after likely to be the highest dollar amount increase yet as Mayor Koch secretively entered into bond indenture terms two years ago that entail a $31 million balloon payment hitting the fan in 2026.

Put another way, the sun of mayor’s actions are akin to an unholy amalgam of kicking the can down the road and kiting checks.

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Can the City of Quincy Finance Director count while wearing his shoes?
A file photo

At same time, as ugly as the 2024 property tax will be for long suffering local residential property taxers who pay more to a lot more than do taxpayers in most, if not most, peer communities in the Commonwealth, as well as move Quincy up even higher up into the top third statewide for all municipalities, there were darkly amusing comments from Mayor Koch’s Director of Municipal Finance.

For example, he waxed on and on about how many local residential property taxpayers will be seeing tax increases less than the average increase of $531 because their properties assessed values were less than the citywide median residential assessed value of $616,200.00.

So what, apparently, for the fact that an 8.3% tax increase is an 8.3% tax increase.

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