Policy Talk: To Incentivize or Not?
Tax Incentives has been a critical policy tool used to spur economic development in cities across the country. But are they worth it? As the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts finalized their Amazon HQ2 bid, hear what our Policy Tank has to say about the pros and cons of tax incentives and the impact it has on development.
Marty Jones: Former CEO of MassDevelopment
Marty Jones is an urban real estate developer and economic development strategist. She most recently served as the president and CEO of MassDevelopment, Massachusetts’ quasi-public economic development authority. The Authority closed $20 billion in transactions supporting over 1600 projects during her tenure from May 2011 to July 2017. MassDevelopment’s investments created more than 80,000 jobs, built/renovated 12,000 housing units, and assisted private and non-profit entities employing over 650,000 people.
Prior to MassDevelopment, Jones was president of Boston building, development, and property management company Corcoran Jennison where she managed staff and project teams for new developments. Her work focused on urban revitalization projects including mixed income communities, affordable housing, hotel, and commercial development.
Jones got her start at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in both the Washington and Boston offices. She is an active member of the Urban Land Institute serving as a Governing Trustee, a member of the Americas Executive Committee, and the National Advisory Board of the Terwilliger Center for Housing. She also currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau.
Nick Ratti: Principal, CohnReznick
Nick Ratti is a principal with CohnReznick’s Real Estate Consulting practice in Boston. With more than 15 years of experience in the tax credit industry, Nick is currently responsible for developing and evaluating tax credit syndication structures, providing tax compliance advice, evaluating tax credit recapture or tax loss reallocation issues, strategizing post-compliance period exits, and providing syndication advisory services. He has extensive experience structuring a wide range of historic, low-income housing, and New Markets tax credit transactions for developers and investors. Prior to joining CohnReznick, Nick was with Fidelity Investments and Ziner Kennedy and Lehan, both in Boston.
Kenan Bigby: Managing Director, Trinity Financial
Mr. Bigby joined Trinity Financial in 2001 and is the lead Project Manager on the completed Newport Heights HOPE VI redevelopment in Newport, RI. Working with the Housing Authority of the City of Newport, Mr. Bigby successfully developed 299 units of mixed-income housing on the former campus of the distressed Tonomy Hill public housing development. Mr. Bigby’s experience also includes the Trinity Terrace project in the Four Corners neighborhood of Dorchester, MA. He successfully structured a complex financing package for the construction of 62 affordable units while conducting an extensive community outreach process. Prior to joining Trinity, Mr. Bigby worked in the field of affordable housing development and management. He worked in various capacities for Boston area non-profit organizations where his responsibilities included the management of several supported housing programs as well as property oversight ensuring compliance with state and federal housing quality standards.
Peter Enrich: Professor, Northeastern University
Professor Enrich is a leading authority on state and local government and state tax policy, and frequently serves as an advisor to state and local governments and to advocacy groups interested in state and local fiscal policy. He teaches Contracts, State and Local Government and State and Local Taxation. His areas of research and expertise include state taxation of businesses, tax equity, relationships between different levels of government and funding of public education.
Professor Enrich was general counsel to the Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance before joining the law school’s faculty. Following law school, Professor Enrich clerked for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer during his tenure on the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He also served two terms as an elected selectman in Lexington, Massachusetts, and he continues to play an active role in Massachusetts progressive politics and policy advocacy.
Manikka leads the District Council in policy and content management and connects members to ULI’s national initiatives. Manikka also serves as an elected official on the Cambridge School Committee. In this role, she serves on Buildings and Grounds Committee where she leads the school district in the management of 1.6 million square feet of educational facilities, and leads ongoing conversations about current and future development and renovation projects.