The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 14, 2010

What is CPA?

Enacted in 2000 as MGL 44B, the Community Preservation Act (CPA) provides state matching funds for towns that vote a surcharge be added to property taxes for the purpose of raising funds for historic preservation, community housing, open space and recreation.

Carlisle Town Meeting of 2001 voted to adopt the CPA at a 2% surcharge rate. From 2002 to 2007 the state matched what Carlisle raised through the surcharge at a 100% rate. More recently, that matching rate has fallen, to 67.62% in 2008 and 34.8% in 2009. In 2010 and beyond the matching rate is expected to fall further to the 15% to 30% range.

CPA funds are reserved in a special Community Preservation Fund until they can be allocated by Town Meeting. The state mandates that funds be earmarked as raised – 10% for each of the areas of historic, open space, and housing preservation, and 70% for any of those uses plus recreation.

Kelly Guarino, Chair of the Community Preservation Act Committee summarized the use of CPA funds in Carlisle since 2001. Those include the purchase of the Benfield property, improvements to the Historical Society Heald Barn, footpaths, improvements to trails, funding of the Accessory Apartments bylaw, and the recently completed library restoration. A sheet listing all CPA-funded projects totaled $4,586,825.

© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito