BAKER OPEN TO FEE HIKE TO BOOST STATE CPA MATCH
By Colin A. Young
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, NOV. 16, 2018.....As cities and towns participating in a program that provides state funds to support affordable housing and open space preservation watch the state's contribution dwindle, Community Preservation Act advocates have fresh hope that Gov. Charlie Baker supports a fix.
Almost two decades since the passage of the Community Preservation Act, about half of the communities in Massachusetts have opted into the program. The communities in the program have agreed to impose a surcharge on local property taxes with the promise of a state match to preserve open space, renovate historic buildings and parks and to build new playgrounds and athletic fields.
The state matching funds are derived from a $20 fee assessed on certain real estate transactions through registries of deeds. The fee structure and match rate formula have not been changed since the CPA went into law in 2000 and as more communities adopt the CPA, each town's share of the pie becomes smaller.
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