The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 7, 2010

Article 20: Should town reduce or eliminate CPA surcharge?

Currently, townspeople pay a 2% surcharge on their property tax bills for the Community Preservation Act (CPA) program. Adopted by Carlisle in 2002, the CPA creates a dedicated funding source to be used for historic preservation, open space, recreation and affordable housing. At Annual Town Meeting on May 10, citizens will be asked under Warrant Article 20 whether they want to continue, reduce or eliminate the surcharge. The Warrant Article is non-binding. The Board of Selectman hope to gauge the community’s feeling on the tax. If Article 20 is passed, the Selectmen will bring the question to a future Town Meeting for a binding decision.

CPA Funds are matched by the state, 34.8% last year, although the level of the match has been decreasing. In March the Department of Revenue issued an updated forecast of 31% for this year’s match. Carlisle has received $1.9 million from the state over eight years.

A partial list of the projects for which the town has approved using CPA funds includes: purchase of the Benfield Land ($2 million), restoration of the Gleason Library Façade ($775,000 + $40,000), Highland Building stabilization ($445,000), town pathways project ($300,000), infrastructure support for Benfield housing project ($425,000), planning Benfield playing field ($25,000), Benfield housing expenses ($50,000+$30,000), Veterans Memorial on the Town Common ($98,000), funding for Affordable Accessory Apartment program ($90,000), Affordable Housing Trust ($50,000), Historical Survey ($41,000+$8,000), the preservation of the Carlisle Historical Society’s barn on Concord Street ($30,000), Town Needs Survey ($25,000), demolition and removal of Greenough cottage ($25,000), design funds for Bruce Freeman Rail Trail ($20,000), preparing Carlisle’s Open Space and Recreation Plan ($16,600), Carlisle Trails committee supplies ($15,000). In addition, CPA funds have supported a number of small historic preservation projects, such as restoration of the statue in the rotary. ∆

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