Summary of Question 4
Community Preservation Act (Section 3-7 of chapter 44B of the General Laws of Massachusetts (the Act) establishes a dedicated funding source to enable cities and towns to 1) acquire, create and preserve land for open space for recreational use; 2) acquire, preserve, rehabilitate and restore historic resources; 3) acquire, create, preserve and support of community housing; and 4) rehabilitation and restoration of open space, recreational land and community housing acquired under the Act.
In the Town of West Springfield the Act will be funded by an excise of one (1%) percent of the annual tax levy on real estate, beginning in fiscal year 2010, and by an undetermined additional amount provided by the Commonwealth, not to exceed the West Springfield excise of one (1%) percent.
The following shall be exempt from the excise established by this act:
Property owned and occupied by a domicile by an person who qualifies for low income housing (persons and family whose annual income is less than 80% of the area's median income) or low or moderate income senior housing (those persons over 60 years of age who would qualify for low or moderate income housing) in the town; and
All class 3 commercial (properties held for business purposes) and class 4 industrial (properties held for manufacturing, processing or fabricating of materials).
A community preservation committee will be established by ordinance to study community preservation resources, possibilities and needs regarding community preservation and will make recommendations to the town council on spending community preservation funds. The committee shall consist of not less than five nor more than nine members and must include one member from each of the following: the Conservation Commission, the Historical Commission, the Planning Board and the Housing Authority.
At least ten (10%) percent of the funds that are received each fiscal year must be spent or reserved for later spending on each of the following: 1) open space, 2) historic resources; and 3) affordable housing.