1. Re-evaluation by Worcester Assessor has Palladium thinking of tearing down building instead of paying higher taxes
The Telegram and Gazette is reporting that the owners of the Palladium concert venue in Worcester are contemplating tearing down their building rather than be forced to pay taxes at a close to 300% increased rate from last year. The city recently re-evaluated businesses, many of which saw skyrocketing tax bills. This has left the owners of New England's "heart of heavy metal" little choice but to tear down their building.
Its owners, who have seen their property tax bill triple from last year, are considering demolishing the four-story building, at 255 to 265 Main St.
"We haven't made any decisions but we have to consider all our options, given the steep hike in our taxes," said John Fischer, a local lawyer, who along with John Sousa, purchased the property in 1990 with the intent of establishing a night club at the site.
City records show the Palladium had an assessed value last tax year of $688,700 and the owners paid $23,863.46 in taxes.
The assessed valuation this tax year escalated to $2,266,500, an increase of 229 percent. Mr. Sousa and Mr. Fischer now face dealing with a $65,887.16 tax bill.
It looks like the City of Worcester isn't helping to build business, contrary to what Elizabeth Warren says.
2. No leadership meeting today.
With Deval Patrick still convalescing from having his wisdom teeth removed, there will be no legislative leadership meeting today in the Governor's office. The meeting will now be held tomorrow instead.
Craig Sandler, who runs State House News Service, made a rare appearance as the author of last week's "Week in Review". He talked about the looming specter of indictments on Beacon Hill.
Still it was an unsettling spectacle. As the great issues of crime and punishment moved through the halls of Massachusetts statue-setting, questions re-swirled around the matter of who might be called to account for a system in which those halls may have been the setting for a taxpayer-funded jobs-for-favors racketeering enterprise.
Before we write another word, let it be clear that the number of lawmakers suspected of being actively involved in this scheme - in which the lawmaking friends of indicted former Probation Commissioner John O'Brien reportedly used his department as an employment agency for their relatives and cronies - is minute compared to the size of the Legislature.
On the other hand, the prominence of some of the people working under a cloud in the matter - makes the whole Legislature seem complicit, if only by suggestion. So does the fact that it was, after all, majority votes of both branches that provided the extra budget money O'Brien needed to beef up his payroll and made good on the requests for what independent counsel Paul Ware determined to be patronage hires.
In any event, the Boston Globe report Sunday that federal investigators appear to be stepping up their efforts to get to the bottom of possible wrongdoing sent a powerful, distracting frisson through the building.
The upshot was that while lawmakers should have been focused, and would have preferred the public have been focused, on the questions of crime in the community, what many were really worried about was crime in their community. The anxiety was especially acute after Ware himself opined that more indictments, of important people, are probably coming.
DeLeo denied that the feds seemed any more interested in him or his colleagues lately, and again strongly denied trading jobs for the speakership or other benefits from O'Brien's operation.
Josh Cutler, who is running for State Representative against Dan Webster, has some really far out videos. Including this one, simply entitled hugs. WARNING: put down the coffee before you watch this. You may spit it out your nose.
There still is no word on how skipping and hugging will win Cutler this election.
5. Will Menino Ban the Catholic Church
Now that Thomas Menino has made it clear that the beliefs of the leader of a business should determine whether or not that business can operate in his city, will that extend to religious institutions as well?