Summary of Question 5
The Community Preservation Act establishes a dedicated funding source to acquire, create, preserve and rehabilitate 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 and community housing that is acquired or created in accordance with the Act. In Westhampton, the Act will be funded, beginning in Fiscal Year 2014, by an additional surcharge of three percent (3%) on the annual tax levy on real property and by matching funds provided by the state. The following exemptions from such surcharge, permitted under Section 3(e) of said 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 income senior housing in the Town; 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 pro rata reduction in surcharge. A Community Preservation Committee must be created pursuant to by-law and will make recommendations on the use of funds. Town Meeting must approve any such recommendation before funds can be expended. All expenditures pursuant to the Act will be subject to an annual audit.