MUPTE stands for Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption – allows a developer of 5 or more units to avoid property taxes for up to 10 years. It’s a tool to incentivize affordable housing in the downtown area. Affordable housing projects, living wage jobs, and carbon neutral building practices are places I could see possibly supporting a MUPTE. Granting MUPTE impacts not only ours, but our future generation’s tax base so must be carefully considered, answering the question “would this project take place without a MUPTE”? But for the Obie project, and others like it? I vote NO.
The Obie project otherwise known as Gordon Lofts is a 127-unit apartment building with ground floor commercial space. The city calculated the tax deferral for the project to be about 4.3 million for 10 years. Recently, Gordon Lofts decided to shift about 15% of the apartment housing; and turn it into ‘longer term stay’ accommodations as part of their hotel portion of the development. This violates the spirit of the MUPTE they were granted. I would vote to penalize the company by partially or even fully removing the MUPTE. They basically cheated and we shouldn’t reward it.