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Boston Mayor Wu Wants Tax on Pricey Real Estate to Fund Low-Cost Homes

  • Wu’s housing proposal also includes expanded senior exemptions
  • Governor Baker and lawmakers need to sign off on mayor’s plan
Michelle Wu
Michelle WuPhotographer: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg

Boston’s new progressive mayor, swept in on a wave of resentment over soaring housing costs, pushed forward a plan Friday to pay for low-cost homes by taxing high-dollar real-estate sales.

Mayor Michelle Wu signed the City Council’s formal request asking state lawmakers for permission to impose a transfer tax of as much as 2% on property sales of $2 million or more, including high-end condos, office buildings, retail and multifamily rentals. Sellers would bear the cost, which would apply only to the amount above $2 million.