Summary of Question 1
Sections 3 to 7 of chapter 44B of the General Laws of Massachusetts, also known as the Community Preservation Act, establish a dedicated source to acquire and preserve open space, parks, and conservation land, protect public drinking water supplies and scenic areas, protect farmland and forests from future development, restore and preserve historic properties, and help meet local families' housing needs. In Northborough, the Community Preservation Act will be funded by an additional surcharge of 1.5% on the annual property tax assessed on real property beginning in the 2006 Fiscal Year, and by matching funds provided by the state. The following exemptions shall be permitted:
1) Property owned and occupied as a domicile by any person who qualifies for low-income housing or low or moderate-income senior housing in the Town, as defined in Section 2 of said Act;
2) $100,000 of the value of each taxable parcel of residential real property.
Any other taxpayer receiving a regular property tax abatement or exemption will also receive a corresponding full or partial reduction in the surcharge. A Community Preservation Committee will be established by local bylaw to study community preservation resources, possibilities, and needs and make recommendation to Town Meeting on spending the funds. At least 10% of the funds for each fiscal year will be spent or reserved for later spending on each of the Act's three community preservation purposes: open space, historic resources, and affordable housing.