Summary of Question 5
This question involves amendment of the Town's 2007 acceptance of G.L. c.44B, §§3-7, also known as the Community Preservation Act ("Act"), approving a surcharge of .5% of the tax levy on real property. The May 5, 2014 Annual Town Meeting voted to increase that surcharge to 1% of the annual tax levy and to authorize Town Meeting to appropriate to the Community Preservation Fund additional municipal revenues not exceeding 2% of the tax levy. The amended acceptance of the Act would be implemented beginning July 1, 2015. 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. The following exemptions from such surcharge, permitted under Section 3(e) of the Act were approved in the Town's 2007 acceptance of the Act and will continue to 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.