Boston homeowners considering withholding property taxes in response to Methadone Mile concerns

Boston homeowners considering withholding property taxes in response to Methadone Mile concerns

BOSTON — Some homeowners in Boston are threatening to withhold property taxes in response to on-going safety and quality of life issues associated with Methadone Mile.

An attorney who owns a luxury building property on Harcourt Street in the Back Bay is encouraging people to consider withholding property taxes.

He’s suggesting the concept of putting the withheld money into escrow or a bank fund, “until the mayor and city councilors fulfill their duties.”

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Neighbors in the area of Harcourt Street, near the Prudential Center, said issues they once encountered occasionally have become an every-day occurrence.

The neighborhood is more than a mile from Boston Medical Center. Residents there describe homelessness, open drug use, littered needles and public defecation, “like they’ve never seen before”.

“It’s certainly not the neighborhood we moved into two, three years ago,” said homeowner Jeff Day, who supports the concept of a property tax protest. “I’m on board with any support, we can draw attention to this problem.”

While the idea of withholding property taxes seems to be gaining momentum with fed-up homeowners, city leaders are discouraging it.

“We are in the middle of a crisis with COVID-19 and the ongoing public health and safety issues here in the South End, Roxbury and other neighborhoods. But to withhold property taxes is not the answer to the crisis. Cities and towns throughout Massachusetts must re-open drug treatment programs and services in their communities,” said District 2 City Councilor Ed Flynn in a written statement to Boston 25 News.

“And those with open court cases must stay in the jurisdiction of the criminal offense and not transfer cases to Boston. We do not have the ability any longer to provide services to those seeking treatment from outside of the city.”