Summary of Question 1
Sections 3 to 7 of chapter 44B of the General Laws of Massachusetts, also known as the Community Preservation Act, established as 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 Wilbraham, the Community Preservation Act will be funded by a surcharge of 1.5% on the annual property tax assessed on real property and by matching funds from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts distributed on an annual basis in the 2005 Fiscal Year from a state trust fund established pursuant to the Community Preservation Act.
The following abatements or 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 of Wilbraham, as defined in Section 2 of the Community Preservation Act;
2) $100,000 of the value of each taxable parcel of residential real property; and
3) Any other abatements or exemptions allowed by local and state law.
A Community Preservation Committee which has been established by annual town meeting and local bylaw would study community preservation resources, possibilities, and needs to make recommendations 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 open space, historic resources, and affordable housing.