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Summary of Question 4
Sections 3 to 7 of Chapter 44B of the General Laws of Massachusetts, also known as the Community Preservation Act, allow communities to establish a dedicated funding source, and thereby be eligible for state matching funds, with which to acquire and preserve open space, historic resources, land for recreational use, and community housing, and to rehabilitate and restore such open space, historic resources, land for recreational use, and community housing acquired or created under the Act. As approved by Town Meeting, the local funding source for the Act in Wellesley will be a surcharge of 1% on the annual property tax bill assessed on real property, commencing in fiscal year 2003. (The surcharge for a single-family residential property with a median valuation [$576,000 in FY02] will be approximately $40 per year.) In addition, the Act creates a state trust fund from which the Town will receive distributions that are solely available to communities that have accepted the Act. The funding source for this trust fund is not subject to annual appropriation by the legislature; instead the Act has established increased filing fees at the local registry of deeds and land courts as the revenue source exclusively for the state Community Preservation Trust Fund. The Act contains certain mandatory exemptions and allows communities to elected to include certain optional exemptions. Wellesley's Town Meeting has elected to include optional exemptions such that, if the Act is accepted, the following will be exempt from the surcharge: 1) One hundred thousand ($100,000.00) dollars of the value of each taxable parcel of residential real estate; 2) Any property owned and occupied as a domicile by a taxpayer who qualifies for low income housing or moderate income senior housing; 3) Any taxpayer receiving a tax abatement would be entitled to a reduction of the surcharge in the proportion of the abatement; and 4) Any taxpayer exempt from real property tax. If the Act is accepted by a majority of the voters, a Community Preservation Committee comprised of Town residents will be established by bylaw to recommend to Town Meeting on the expenditure of the community preservation funds. Town Meeting must approve any such recommendations before funds can be expended. The funds need not be spent in whole or in part in any one year, but may accrue until the Town decides how to use them. All expenditures pursuant to the Act will be subject to an annual audit.

Question 4: Shall the Town of Wellesley accept sections 3 to 7, inclusive of Chapter 44B of the General Laws, as approved by its legislative body, a summary of which appears below?

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City/Town Ward Pct Blank Votes Total Votes Cast
Wellesley More »
Totals 7,569 3,449 926 11,944