Summary of Question 4
Sections 3 to 7 of Chapter 44B of the General Laws of Massachusetts, also known as the Community Preservation Act, establish a dedicated funding source to acquire and preserve open space, parks and conservation land, protect public drinking water supplies and scenic areas, protect farm land and forests from future development, restore and preserve historic properties, and help meet local families' housing needs.
In Quincy, one source of Community Preservation Act funds will be an additional surcharge of one percent (1%) of the annual property tax assessed on real property beginning in fiscal year 2007. The other source of funds would come from a special state trust fund. The Commonwealth provides these matching funds only to the communities that have adopted the Act.
The first $100,000 of the value of each residential property would be exempt. At current rates, the surcharge would be about $26.50 per year based on a single family residential property with an average assessment of $356,500. Owner-occupied housing would also be exempt from the surcharge when the owner qualifies for low-income housing or low- or moderate-income senior housing. Any taxpayer receiving an exemption of real property authorized by Chapter 59 of the General Laws will receive a corresponding full or partial reduction in the Community Preservation Act surcharge.
A Community Preservation Committee composed of local citizens will make recommendations on the use of the funds. Final approval of the use of the funds will follow the regular procedure for the appropriation of City funds. All expenditures will be subject to an annual audit.