Summary of Question 4
As part of the legal process for the town to accept the Community Preservation Act, it must, in addition to the vote at the recent annual town meeting, also vote at an election to accept Sections 3 to 7 of G.L. c. 44B, commonly called the Community Preservation Act (CPA). This act, if accepted by a majority of the voters at this election, provides a funding source for the town to (1) acquire open space (defined as including but not limited to "land to protect existing and future well fields, aquifers and recharge areas, watershed land, agricultural land, grasslands, fields, forest land, fresh and salt water marshes and other wetlands, ocean, river, stream, lake and pond frontage, beaches, dunes, and other costal lands, lands to protect scenic vistas, and for wildlife or nature preserves and land for recreational use"); (2) acquire, preserve, rehabilitate and restore historic resources (defined as "a building, a structure, vessel or real property that is listed or eligible for listing on the state register of historic places or has been determined by the local historic preservation commission to be significant in the history, archeology, architecture or culture of a city or town"); (3) acquire, create and preserve land for recreational use (defined as "active or passive recreational use including, but not limited to, the use of land for community gardens, trails and noncommercial youth and adult sports and the use of land as a park, playground or athletic field. "Recreational use" shall not include horse or dog racing or the use of land for a stadium, gymnasium or similar structure"); (4) create, preserve and support community housing (defined as "low or moderate income housing for individuals and families, including low or moderate income senior housing") and/or (5) rehabilitate or restore open space, land for recreational use and community housing that is acquired or created as provided for under this law. As proposed by the motion adopted at town meeting, the funding source for these activities will include a surcharge of three (3) percent of the real estate tax levy against real property beginning with the next fiscal year following adoption of the law and annual distributions from a state trust fund created by the law which is funded primarily from surcharges on fees for documents recorded with the Registry of Deeds or Land Court Registry District. As proposed by the motion adopted by town meeting the following exemptions would apply: the first $100,000.00 of real property value for all property owners, and property owned and occupied as a domicile by a person who would qualify for low income housing or low or moderate income senior housing in Hull, as defined by the law. A taxpayer who receives a regular property tax abatement or exemption will also receive a pro rata reduction in the surcharge. A Community Preservation Committee would be created by a bylaw to study community preservation needs and make recommendations to the town meeting for spending the funds. At least 10% of the funds for each fiscal year will be spent or reserved for future spending for open space (excluding recreational use land), historic resources and for community housing.
A "yes" vote is a vote to accept the CPA.
A "no" vote is a vote not to accept the CPA.