Summary of Question 5
This question involves the Town's acceptance of G.L. c.44B, §§3-7, also known as the Community Preservation Act ("Act"), approving a surcharge of 1% of the tax levy on real property. The May 12, 2014 Annual Town Meeting voted to accept the Act and impose a surcharge in the amount of 1% of the annual tax levy, effective July 1, 2014, and further to provide an exemption under Section 3(e) of the Act for 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.
The Act allows municipalities to impose a surcharge on real property to establish a dedicated source of funds for open space, historic resources and community housing purposes, and entitles the Town to receive a percentage of matching funds from the state. The Community Preservation Committee makes recommendations to Town Meeting on the use of such funds, and at least 10% of the funds to be collected through the surcharge, any other annual revenues appropriated to the fund, and the state match, must be spent or reserved for later spending on each of the Act's three community preservation purposes. All expenditures pursuant to the Act are subject to an annual audit.