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Summary of Question 4
Chapter 448 of the Massachusetts General Laws, also known as the Com­munity Preservation Act ("the Act"), allows communities to establish a ded­icated source of funds for the acquisition, preservation and creation of open space and of land for recreational uses, for the acquisition and preservation of historic resources, and for the creation, preservation and support of com­munity housing. One source of funds for these activities would be a surcharge of one per cent (1%) on the annual tax assessed on real estate, subject to certain exemptions as discussed, below. The other source of funds would be funds which the City would receive from a special state trust fund. The state funds are available only to communities that have voted to accept the Act. If the Act is accepted, the following would be exempt from the surcharge: (1) Any taxpayer exempt from real estate property tax would be exempt from the surcharge; and (2) One hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) of the value of each taxable parcel of residential real estate would be exempt from the surcharge. Any taxpayer receiving a tax abatement would be entitled to a reduction of the surcharge in proportion of the abatement. If the Act is accepted, the City would establish a separate account known as the Community Preservation Fund ("the Fund") to which all surcharge receipts and the state funds would be credited. The City Council would pass an ordinance establishing a Community Preservation Committee. The Com­mittee would study community preservation needs, possibilities and resources and make annual recommendations to the City Council. The Fund could only be spent by the City Council for Community Preser­vation activities allowed under the Act. Each year not less than ten percent (10%) of the annual revenues to the Fund must be spent, or designated for later spending, on open space; not less than ten percent (10%) must be spent, or designated for later spending, on historic preservation and not less than ten percent (10%) must be spent, or designated for later spending, on community housing. The administration and operating expenses of the com­mittee cannot exceed five percent (5%) of the annual revenues.

Question 4: Shall the City of Westfield 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
Westfield More »
Totals 5,965 5,919 1,524 13,408