The Community Preservation Act (CPA) was signed into law
by former Governor Paul Cellucci and Lt. Governor Jane Swift
on September 14, 2000 (Chapter 267 of the Acts of 2000). The
CPA has been amended five times as follows: SB 2343 (July
2002), HB 3944 (July 2003), HB 4709 (December 2004), HB 1680
(March 2006), and SB 167 (September 2006).
The CPA allows communities to create a local Community Preservation
Fund to raise money through a surcharge of up to 3% of the
real estate tax levy on real property for open space protection,
historic preservation and the provision of affordable housing.
The act also creates a significant state matching fund, which
serves as an incentive to communities to pass the CPA.
On October 15th, beginning in 2002, the Department of Revenue
has distributed matching funds to CPA cities and towns of
more than $17 million to 34 communities in 2002, $27 million
to 54 communities in 2003, $30 million to 61 communitie in
2004, $46 million to 82 communities in 2005, $58 million to
102 communities in 2006, $68 million to 113 communities in
2007, and $54.6 million to 127 communities in 2008. Distributions
from 2002 to 2007 were at a match rate of 100%. In 2008, for
the first time, the distribution used the first and second
round formula and the statewide average was a 73.73% match
to the local surcharge revenue. In 2009, the Department of
Revenue distributed matching funds of more than $31 million
to 135 communities. For the first time, the distribution used
the first, second, and third round formula outlined in Section
10 of the CPA legislation.
In 2010, the Department of Revenue distributed matching
funds of almost $26 million to 142 communities. The distribution
also used the first, second, and third round formula. The
statewide match average was 31.5% of the local surcharge revenue.
See DOR's spreadsheet for community specifics.
Municipalities must adopt the Act by ballot referendum. To
date one hundred and forty-eight (148) cities and towns
have adopted the Community Preservation Act and are appropriating
fund revenues and matching state funds to thousands of community-based
projects and needs.
The Community Preservation Act (CPA) is an innovative tool
for communities to address important community needs and finance
specific community preservation acquisitions and initiatives.
Once adopted locally, the Act requires the legislative body
to annually appropriate, or reserve for future appropriation,
at least 10% of the estimated annual fund revenues for acquistions
or initiatives in each of the following three categories
of allowable community preservation purposes: open space (excluding
recreational uses), historic resources, and community housing.
This allows the community flexibility in distributing the
majority of the money for any of the three categories as determined
by the community.
Gov. Cellucci signed into
the Community Preservation Act
on September 14, 2000.
The Act stipulates that a Community Preservation Committee
composed of 5-9 members representing various boards in the
community recommend to the communitys legislative body
how to spend Community Preservation funds.
The Community Preservation Act complements Community Development
Planning created through Executive Order 418. Once adopted
by communities, the CPA provides communities with funding
to help implement part of their Community Development Plans.
Questions? Please contact Kurt Gaertner at (617) 626-1154