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TAKE THE SURVEY
Note: Homeowners with completed paper surveys can bring their sealed surveys to the Spring General Membership Meeting on March 18th to be dropped into the ballot box.

A Phase I S.A.D. Ad Hoc Committee had been formed in 2017 to research and recommend next steps. The Board decided to form the Phase II S.A.D. Ad Hoc Committee. In 2018, the Historic Boston-Edison Association (HBEA) formed a Phase II Special Assessment District (S.A.D.) ad-hoc committee with the purpose of educating and surveying property owners about what S.A.D. was and to determine if they wanted to move to an official survey to determine if they wanted to become a SAD or not. If enough homeowners want to have an official survey the Board would move to that survey. The results of that survey would then direct the Board to either let the subject die or have the Board make the official application to the City to become a SAD)

Special Assessment District (S.A.D.)


The Boston-Edison Historic Association (HBEA) has the status of a Designated Neighborhood Improvement Organization (DNIO) and could therefore apply to become a Special Assessment District with a 51% majority vote by the property owners.

The services permitted under the ordinance are increased security, curb to curb snow removal, and mosquito abatement. The assessment is applied the summer tax bill, the collected funds are returned to the HBEA to pay for the contracted services.

Additional information regarding the ordinance can be found here.

The goals of the committee:

    1. To ensure property owners will have the opportunity to make informed decisions and vote.
    2. Provide information packets explaining how a SAD may impact their quality of life and pocketbooks.
    3. Ensure that the process to obtain the results of the survey is transparent and understandable.

The HBEA board and the SAD Ad Hoc Committee are committed to transparency.

Below are some of the pros and cons experienced by other districts that have gone through the S.A.D. process.

PRO'S

  • All district residents receive the contracted services
  • Additional security provided
  • Curb to curb snow removal
  • Continuity of services throughout the district
  • Provides services for those who prefer not to or who are unable to perform the services themselves
  • Some property owners willing and able to incur additional tax
  • The city collects assessment fees/taxes for all of the property owners

CON'S

  • The Special Assessment Tax will appear on the Summer Tax Bill, and is not tax deductible
  • The City can foreclose on the property if Special Assessment Tax is not paid
  • No discount received on homeowners’ insurance policy
  • City not accountable for contracted services
  • Property owners have invested in security systems and equipment
  • Owners have invested in snow removal equipment
  • Property owners forced to pay taxes for services they already have and/or can perform themselves


QUESTIONS ASKED DURING THE COMMUNITY MEETINGS

Are we using just the surveys completed or all properties to get threshold for a decision – i.e. 900 properties but only 100 surveys completed

No, It would be based on the entire district of i.e. 900 properties.

Who decides on services?

The services authorized under a S.A.D. are – snow removal, additional security and mosquito abatement per the ordinance.

Who decides on contractors for services?

Bids will be collected by the HBEA board from multiple contractors, and submitted to the city for final approval.

Can board post information to answer these question?

Yes, the questions and answers will be posted on the S.A.D. page on the HBEA website.

Who manages the money and pays for these services?

The assessed tax is collected by the city from the Summer Tax bill and sent to the HBEA to pay for the contracted services.

Why did previous committee recommend not to move forward and brought back up so soon?

Based on research from Phase one Committee, the board decided to ask homeowners what they wanted to do; move to formal vote to decide if they wanted to be a S.A.D or let the issue die.  Phase two committee was created to provide information to the homeowners so they could make an informed decision.

What is the percent of property owners who have to be current to move forward?

Sixty percent (60%) of the districts property owners would have to be current on their property tax.

Is there something that we can put in to protect homeowners form losing their homes?

The representative for the city, Cynthia Burton, stated that there is a hardship tax appeal process the property owners can apply for.

Will this Special Assessment be effective in perpetuity?

No, The Special Assessment is for a 7-year period. At any time during that period, the neighborhood can petition the city to dissolve the assessment if they are dissatisfied with the services being provided. Signatures from 51% of property owners is required in order to terminate the assessment.

Who will count the survey results?

Per the bylaws, a group of volunteer property owners from each zone in the district will be appointed by the HBEA Board President to act as observers during the count of the survey. That group of representatives referred to as “tellers”, other observers present will include the S.A.D. committee and a representative from the Board.

Click here to download the information flyer.

Contact Special Assessment District (SAD) Ad Hoc Committee at Debora Copeland at dcopeland@historicbostonedison.org or 313-454-6860

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