— Eye on Everett —

The mayor learns to deal with Encore

By JOSH RESNEK

A very well-known gentleman I know from the North End who loves to play cards with the bad boys told me a great Carlo story that went something like this:

“Carlo played for hours one night with my buddies. He ended up owing thousands when he left the card table and headed home. He was pretty grim. Losing at cards is bad. Owing when you leave the table is worse.

“Anyway, before Carlo left the table, one of the bad boys in charge of the game asked him politely: ‘When do I get the money you owe.?’”

“Carlo turned to him and said: ‘Next week. Guaranteed. You know me,’ he added, my buddy told me.

“Yeah, Carlo. That’s what I’m worried about,” my buddy told me the North End guy said to him with a grimace.

“’See you next week Carlo. I’ll be waiting right here. No excuses, Carlo,’” he said, according to my buddy.

Next week came and passed.

No Carlo. No payment.

The fellow in the North End was getting a bit impatient. Mind you, this wasn’t about Encore not paying its in lieu of tax bill to the city even though the payment was guaranteed by the host agreement.

“Where’s my money? “the North End gentleman asked Carlo during a phone call after waiting patiently several weeks, my buddy told me.

Carlo responded adroitly. After all, he is the mayor, a big crap shooter really up on his toes and aware of everything going on in his world.

“Oh. I already paid what I owed you,” Carlo exclaimed, my friend told me.

Continue reading — Eye on Everett —

Encore must be put on notice

Encore’s failure to pay the City of Everett our in lieu of tax payment on time is an outrage.

Encore’s apparent payment of what they owe the city is another outrage.

What will the mayor do about it?

Nothing.

Why?

He is beholden to the casino and hotel. He has no power over the executives at Encore, and no pull with the folks at the parent, Wynn Resorts. With Steve Wynn out of the picture, the mayor is unable to mitigate against Encore’s unilateral change of policy to pay the state instead of the city.

Now the city must go to the state and ask, or beg, however it works during this time of virus shutdown and curtailed state services, for the money the city needs to run its budget and to provide city services.

First reports indicate the city might receive what it is owed – more than $10 million by the end of August.

Continue reading Encore must be put on notice

Encore sidesteps direct payment to city coffers

Encore Boston Harbor. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Policy change causes panic, financial havoc

By JOSH RESNEK

What has happened in Springfield with MGM attempting to renegotiate its host agreement with the city there has now begun here with Encore.

The city’s savior, the brainchild of the mayor, has apparently changed the host agreement unilaterally by sidestepping Everett on a $10 million payment it owes in lieu of taxes.

Instead of paying the city what it owed since March as promised for July 15, Encore has apparently paid the state, and then the state will pay the city.

Several councilors have conceded that’s a nice how do you do coming at a perilous moment when the city’s finances are in question.

Expenses are exceeding income, and budget cuts, layoffs and salary reductions have been levied to bridge the income gap.

“It gives me great concern that Encore would pay the state rather than the city like they did in the first and second quarter. It’s a big concern they would do that,” said City Councilor Mike McLaughlin.

“It shows irresponsibility on the part of Encore. Out of four payments, they’ve only gotten one payment right and on time. Not a great track record,” he said.

For the mayor, who brought Encore to the city, the payment gaffe is an agonizing twist.

Encore was to have been a panacea for the city. The city’s financial difficulties were over with the coming of the casino, according to the mayor.

“Instead, it looks as though our money problems have multiplied,” said Councilor at Large Mike Marchese.

Continue reading Encore sidesteps direct payment to city coffers

Taxes now due in July; deferred Rental payments; no evictions

Everyone sinking in same boat

By Josh Resnek

With the economy shut down, extraordinary government and business efforts to contain the damage are being announced nearly everyday.

Governor Charlie Baker announced Friday that state taxes will not be due on April 15 this year. That date has been moved up to July 15.

This is to bring the state in line with the IRS directive ten days ago to cancel the April 15 deadline and to replace it with a July 15 deadline for filing federal taxes this year.

No penalties or late filing charges will be made by the Department of Revenue or by the IRS.

The added time is intended to give taxpayers and wage earners as well as company owners added needed months to accrue what is necessary to make the filings.

In addition, many major landlords, banks and credit companies have announced reduced or deferred rental and mortgage payments for the duration of the emergency period.

Continue reading Taxes now due in July; deferred Rental payments; no evictions

Using free cash to bring taxes down a waste of good Money

The mayor’s announcement last week that he will be taking $7 million of free cash to bring down the city’s tax rate is a waste of good money. Rather than taking $7 million in free cash from the city’s bank account to artificially lower taxes which are frankly running away, the mayor needs to cut the bloated budget by $7-$9 million, keep the $7 million dry in the free cash account.

The taxes will then take care of themselves, lowering themselves because the city is spending less.

Continue reading Using free cash to bring taxes down a waste of good Money