Watch CBS News

What can Massachusetts do about revenue shortfalls, downturn in commercial real estate value?

Democratic party leader Steve Kerrigan on state of party and the Massachusetts economy
Democratic party leader Steve Kerrigan on state of party and the Massachusetts economy 09:37

BOSTON – Massachusetts Democratic Party chairman Steve Kerrigan, fresh off the party's annual convention last weekend in Worcester, joined WBZ-TV to discuss a variety of topics related to the economy.

Democrats' economic philosophy 

"Our leaders and our candidates are the ones who stand up for a stronger and more fair economy," Kerrigan said.  

Kerrigan was asked to define the party's economic philosophy.

"I don't know that we as a party have an economic philosophy. We do have a platform and it is about creating opportunity for folks through things like a stronger education system," Kerrigan said. "If you don't have a good education, that's going to impact your ability to get a job. If you don't have health care, you're going to be sicker and not able to attend work. So all of those things play into how we can build a better economy."

Downturn in commercial real estate values

Kerrigan also serves as chairman of the Board of Selectmen in his hometown of Lancaster, and says they have been discussing a hot topic among government officials everywhere - how to deal with the potential revenue shortfalls stemming from the sharp post-pandemic downturn in commercial real estate values.

"One of the priorities that we have is diversifying our tax base so that residents don't have to bear the brunt of the impact of increased costs," he says.

Should Boston raise commercial tax rates?

Kerrigan declined to weigh in on Boston Mayor Michelle Wu's push for state permission to raise commercial tax rates to address any future shortfalls, a move that has sparked pushback from both large and small business interests.

"I know that the mayor is going to make some difficult decisions to balance her budget," he said. "It is a very challenging job to be the mayor of a city of that size in in a time when we're coming out of a pandemic, where massive office buildings that had lots of folks coming into town spending lots of money in our communities are closed or virtually empty, and trying to reimagine how a modern city works. It isn't done easily."

And when asked if the state Democratic Party is more liberal than the voters, Kerrigan said "parties on either side are more [ideological] than the average voter. The average voter doesn't look at things monolithically and and problems solved. They want results."

You can watch "Keller At Large," Boston's most-watched Sunday political interview, every Sunday at 8:30 a.m.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.