Preview: City Council agenda (December 1)

The Worcester City Council meets Tuesday at 7pm. The agenda is here. This week: Worcester’s war on Airbnb begins? Also: after a delay, the big discussion of next year’s property tax rate.

  • Library Board: Two new members will be elected “for terms ending on December 31, 2021.”
  • Residential Taxes: Virginia Ryan has numerous citizen petitions on this subject this week. They include asking the Council to adopt a “Senior/Veterans Voluntary Work-Off Tax Program”; to “lower the tax deferral rate from 8% to 2.5% to accommodate seniors in Worcester who are ‘House Rich and Income Poor'”; to “increase the single/married income limits to reflect those of the Single Circuit Breaker and change the age requirement from 70 to 65 years”; to adopt small business and residental tax exemptions; and others.
  • School Arrests: Gordon Davis and Vianna Mercedes have a citizen asking for a policy of “not arresting kids at school” “unless there is clear and immediate danger.”
  • Homelessness: Councilor Rivera has a couple items asking how Worcester is responding to “the most recent increase in homelessness” and if we have a plan for sheltering homeless families and kids during the cold months.
  • Worcester State University Parking: Councilor Rosen has a proposal to ask the school administration to deal with their parking shortage by paving some of their grass.
  • Airbnb: Councilor Rosen brings up the Airbnb issue by asking about “the advisability, safety and legality of city residents changing the character of their residential neighborhoods by listing their home or apartment on Airbnb, a website that allows people to rent rooms in their residences to guests for one or more nights.” (Personally I am very pro-Airbnb.)
  • Washington Heights: Anthony Fracasso, Senior Vice President of Massachusetts Development Finance Agency, will be giving public notice of a meeting regarding MassDevelopment’s plan to fund the rehabilitation of 404 residential units in Washington Heights (across from Coes Pond).
  • Property Tax Rate Hearing: How much will residential property taxes be next year? Commercial taxes? The Council will decide soon.

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