Summary of Question 5
Sections 3 to 7 of Chapter 44B of the General Laws of Massachusetts, also known as the Community Preservation Act, establish a dedicated funding source to: (1) create and rehabilitate recreation lands including parks, playgrounds and athletic fields; (2) preserve and rehabilitate historic resources including historic buildings, documents and artifacts; help meet the housing needs of local families and seniors; and (3) acquire and preserve open space including land to protect drinking water supplies, scenic areas, farmland and forests.
In the Town of Newbury, the Community Preservation Act will be funded by an additional excise of 1.5% (with exemptions set forth below) on the annual tax levy on real property to be assessed beginning in fiscal year 2016, and by annual distributions provided by the state from a Trust Fund created by the Act. The Commonwealth provides these funds only to communities adopting the Act. A Community Preservation Committee composed of local citizens will make annual recommendations on the use of the funds, and each expenditure must be approved by Town Meeting.
If approved, the following will be exempt from the surcharge:
(1) Property owned and occupied as a domicile (home) by any person who qualifies for low income housing or low or moderate income senior housing in the Town, as defined in Section 2 of said Act;
(2) $100,000 of the value of each taxable parcel of residential real property; and
(3) $100,000 of the value of each taxable parcel of class three, commercial property, and class four, industrial property as defined in section 2A of said Chapter 59.
A taxpayer receiving a regular property tax abatement or exemption will also receive a pro rata reduction in the surcharge.