||Community Preservation Act, 3% property tax surcharge
About the Campaign:
Warwick citizens organized a successful petition drive to put a question on the May 21 ballot to adopt the Community Preservation Act, with a 3% property tax surcharge.
The Massachusetts Community Preservation Act (CPA) allows cities and towns to approve a surcharge of up to 3% on real property taxes, to create dedicated funding for open space protection, historic preservation, affordable housing, and recreation.
Communities participating in CPA receive annual distributions from the state's Community Preservation Trust Fund based on the amount of funds raised locally, to be used towards local CPA projects. So far, 148 Massachusetts municipalities have adopted the CPA.
The cost of adopting CPA in Warwick would be an estimated $41 a year for the average household. There is an exemption for the first $100,000 of taxable value of residential real estate, as well as for low-income households and moderate-income senior households.
What's At Stake
Warwick, a rural community of 800 in western Massachusetts, has an historic town center with a beautiful common. Although some neighboring towns have adopted the CPA, few towns in this part of the state have taken advantage of CPA to leverage local funds for projects to enhance the community that are typically not covered in the regular budget.
Adopting the CPA would generate $21,000 a year, which would then be doubled by the state match of 100 percent for towns of its size. These funds could go towards renovating and repairing Warwick’s historic buildings, such as the town hall, the library, the old fire station and the historical society building.
CPA funds could be used to determine the housing needs of Warwick and then support the creation or rehabilitation of housing for seniors, young families or small households.
Since a high percentage of land in the town has been conserved, the CPA will likely focus on preserving the historic nature of the community.
Get Involved in the Local Campaign:
To find out more about the campaign or get involved, contact Keith Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-544-2181.
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