Boston’s Tax-Exempt Property Snapshot
Boon to the economy with most successful PILOT program
Tax-exempt institutions play a critical role in Boston’s economy and the city in general. In its bond credit report in May for Boston, Moody’s Investors Service stated that the concentration of tax-exempt higher education and hospital institutions “provide economic stimulus” and the City “benefits from the sector’s stable employment base.” The five largest employers in Boston are all tax-exempt institutions, which represent 7.4% of total Boston employment.
PILOT Program – Most Successful – Boston’s PILOT program has been touted as the most successful program in the country in terms of revenue generation.* Tax-exempt properties in Boston made PILOT payments totaling $53.6M in FY17. The breakdown of this total included $33.4M from private exempt institutions, $18.5M from Massport and $1.7M in miscellaneous payments.
Tax-Exempt Overview – Tax-exempt real property in Boston represents 52% of all land area in the City and 35% of its total real estate property value. Publicly owned tax-exempt property accounts for 78% of the city’s exempt land area, while private institutions account for 22%.
Exempt Land is Mostly Public – Public land owned by the Commonwealth, City, U.S. Government and foreign jurisdictions represents 78.1% of all tax-exempt real property in Boston. In total, publicly owned tax-exempt real property represents 40.4% of all land area in the City.
Private Exempt Land – Private tax-exempt property makes up 21.9% of total tax-exempt land and 11.3% of total city area. Medical, educational and cultural institutions constitute about 5.7% of city land, while religious property represents 4.2%.
|Boston Tax-Exempt Land Area|
|Category||Area (sq. mi.)||% Exempt Area||% City Area|
|Taxable & Exempt Property||44.80||100.0%|
Tax-Exempt Value – Boston’s total real estate property value in FY18 is $156.4B, of which taxable real property represents $102.5B or 65.5% and tax-exempt property $53.9B or 34.5%. The City regularly updates the values of the largest 49 tax-exempt institution with values of $15M or above, but less so for other exempt property.
* Lincoln Institute of Land Policy 2010