Summary of Question 4
The Community Preservation Act (hereinafter "Act") establishes a dedicated funding source to enable cities and towns to (1) acquire, create or preserve open space, which includes land for parks and recreational uses, beaches and conservation areas, (2) acquire, preserve or restore historic buildings and sites, including historic parks, and (3) help meet local families' housing needs.
In the City of Fall River, the funding source for these community preservation purposes will be a surcharge of 1.5% on the annual property tax assessed on real property beginning in Fiscal Year 2014, and annual distributions made by the state from a trust fund created by the Act. The Commonwealth provides these funds only to communities adopting the Act. If approved, the following will be exempt from the surcharge: (1) properly owned and occupied as a domicile by any person who qualifies for low income housing or low or moderate income senior housing in the City of Fall River, as defined in Section 2 of the Act; and (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 full or partial reduction in the surcharge.
Upon acceptance of the Act by the voters, a Community Preservation Committee will be established by ordinance to study community preservation needs, possibilities and resources, and to make annual recommendations to the City Council for approval on spending the funds.