Summary of Question 4
This Question involves an amendment to the Town's prior acceptance of Sections 3 to 7 of Chapter 44B of the General Laws of Massachusetts, also known as the Community Preservation Act ("Act"), by decreasing the surcharge imposed on real property from three percent (3%) to one percent (1%) of the annual tax levy thereon, as determined by the Kingston Board of Assessors.
The Act, as accepted by the Town, establishes a dedicated funding source to acquire, create and preserve open space and land for recreational use; acquire, preserve, rehabilitate and restore historic resources, create, preserve and support community housing; and to rehabilitate and restore open space, land for recreational use and community housing that is acquired or created in accordance with the Act. The following exemptions from the surcharge, permitted under Section 3(e) of the Act, will apply: (1) property owned and occupied as a domicile by a person who would qualify for low income housing or low or moderate senior income housing in the Town; (2) $100,000 of the value of each taxable parcel of residential real property. A taxpayer receiving a regular property tax abatement or exemption will also receive a pro-rata reduction in surcharge. A Community Preservation Committee has been created pursuant to bylaw and will make recommendations on the use of funds. Town Meeting must approve any such recommendation before funds can be expended. All expenditures will be subject to an annual audit.
As approved by the voters at the 2005 Annual Town Election, the surcharge was initially fixed at three percent (3%) of the annual tax levy assessed on real property. By vote under Article 8 of the June 26, 2012 Special Town Meeting, the Town's legislative body voted to decrease the surcharge to one percent (1%) of the annual tax levy assessed on real property, effective July 1, 2013, subject to an affirmative majority vote of the Town at the next complying State or Town Election.
By voting yes, the reduction in the surcharge shall become effective, as aforesaid.