The possible purchase by Wynn Resorts of all the remaining available developable land in Everett needs to be overseen more carefully than the deal worked out by the mayor for the in lieu of tax payment by Wynn.
The city now receives $30 million a year in an in lieu of tax payment for the casino and hotel.
We do not believe any such in lieu of tax payment deal can be hatched for Exxon’s 96 acres, unless of course the payment was so ludicrously large that the city would be crazy not to accept such an offer.
The $30 million Encore is paying the city now doesn’t look as great as it did before we were collecting that money in 2019.
The question is this. How much in taxes will the Exxon land by itself generate right from the start?
If Wynn buys the land and pays $300 million or more, which is to be expected, what can the city expect in a yearly tax payment? Mind you, an assessment of $300 million isn’t exactly the end of the world in today’s expensive real estate marketplace. Exxon’s 96 acres should generate more tax dollars than Encore pays to the city each year.
That’s when the land is vacant and being environmentally mitgated.
What happens then?
With each new structure built onto the site, the tax assessment goes up by millions.
It is not unreasonable to speculate among ourselves that this 96 acres of Exxon land when fully developed should earn the city $50 million -$70 million a year in real estate taxes at a minimum.
God knows what the total tax take is for Somerville in Assembly Square, which is a smaller footprint than 96 acres.
The development of 96 acres of Exxon land does not come without a price tag for the city. Streets must be laid out with sidewalks. Sewerage must be provided. Electricity must be buried. Polluted land must be cleaned up. More public safety capability must be provided. A new fire station fully manned and equipped will be required. A police sub- station should be a necessity.
This will take millions and millions of dollars that should frankly be put up by the developers or Encore or both.
Unless and until the city council steps up to the plate to act like the city fathers, the mayor directs everything.
This is not the way investments in the city are supposed to work.
The Exxon land deal is the deal of the century.
We cannot let the city undercharge for the right to develop here. Everything that glitters isn’t gold.