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BOSTON-In a move sure to rankle developers looking to build, the Boston city council approved a measure that would raise linkage fees developers are required to pay on projects being built here. This is the first time the linkage fees have been raised in 14 years.

Linkage fees, which were established in 1987, are payments developers pay to the city to compensate for the disruption that building their projects may cause. The funds go to build affordable housing and develop job-training programs. Until now those payments have been approximately $5 per sf for affordable housing and $1 per sf for job training. City Mayor Thomas M. Menino had tried to raise the linkage fees last year but a controversy over linkage fees from development on the waterfront–which had been largely benefiting south Boston because of a side deal made on behalf of the neighborhood with developers–made it difficult to get that approved.

The higher linkage rate–of $7.18 per sf for housing and $1.44 for job training–will reportedly provide the city with an additional $2.5 million per year. As part of the measure all developers will also be required to pay the fees over a seven-year cycle. Downtown projects were always on a seven year payout cycle but neighborhood project had 12 years over which to pay the fees. The measure has to be approved by the House and the Senate.

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