I am writing to voice my strong support for the adoption of the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in Boylston. Residents will be voting on the measure May 2 at the Annual Town Meeting.
What is the CPA? Simply, it’s a fund set up by the town specifically dedicated to investing in four priorities: Open space, recreation, historic preservation and affordable housing. It is funded by a 1% surcharge of local property taxes, however, low-income and low-and-moderate income seniors are exempt from the surcharge.
The best part is, by adopting the CPA, the state will match approximately 30% of the money raised each year. That’s free money.
Most all of us have unknowingly been paying into the fund over the past 20 years, as all real estate transactions, loans and refinancing’s are assessed a transaction fee by the Registry of Deeds to fund the CPA. Those funds are then dispersed to the 187 communities in Massachusetts that have already adopted the CPA. So while many of us are paying into the fund, our town is not currently receiving any of that money. Surrounding towns like Berlin, Shrewsbury, West Boylston, Hudson, Northborough, Lancaster and Grafton have all benefitted from the CPA while Boylston has completely missed out.
While nobody enjoys paying more in taxes, the benefits of the CPA are analogous to investing in an appreciable asset as opposed to a depreciating asset. The state matching contribution on the money raised makes investable projects more cost effective.
Additionally, the money can be used as matching funds that may be required by state and federal grants, and the town solely decides how the funds are spent.
The CPA will help give Boylston the opportunity to decide how and where to invest for our future, instead of leaving it up to the whims of developers.
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