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Are Greater Boston's high taxes worth it?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis October 29, 2013 09:46 AM

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It's not just home prices that are sky high here in Greater Boston.

Our local property taxes are also hovering in the stratosphere as well, behind only New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

The median tax bill for a Boston area homeowner is $4,500 a year, making us No. 4 nationally of the top 25 metro markets, Interest.com reports.

New York weighs in at No. 1, at $7,327, followed by Chicago at $4,984 and San Francisco at $4,983.

Sure it's high, but I would also argue that in many towns, it is money relatively well spent as well, at least when it comes to local schools, typically the largest part of a city or town budget.

Bay State schools lead the nation in test scores and are now competitive internationally as well, a new report finds.

Having grown up around here, it's a sea change from the 1970s and 80s, when schools across the Boston area and the state were mired in mediocrity and reeling from the chaos created by all those 60s-inspired classroom "reforms."

Certainly there's no contest between what my three children are learning now in elementary school in Natick compared to what I remember of my elementary school days in small-town Massachusetts.

Does that mean there isn't room for economizing?

Sure there is. Certainly there could be ways to regionalize some of our local school bureaucracies, as well as our fire and police services.

OK, it would be hard to argue that Boston area buyers are getting their money's worth in our perpetually overpriced real estate market.

But the strides made by many Greater Boston school systems takes some of the sting out of our high prices.

OK, I guess I am just not a Tea Party type of guy. How about you?


This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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