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 acquire, create, and preserve open space, including land for parks, recreational uses and conservation land; acquire, preserve, rehabilitate and restore historic resources including historic building; acquire, create, preserve, rehabilitate and restore land for recreational use, including parks, playgrounds and athletic fields; and to acquire, create, preserve and support affordable housing. In Woburn, the Community Preservation Act will be funded by an additional one percent (1%) on the annual tax levy against real estate to be assessed beginning in Fiscal 2016 (July 1, 2015); and by annual distributions from the state. Exempt from this surcharge will be 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 city as defined in Section 2 of the Chapter 44B; $100,000 of the value of each taxable parcel of residential real property, and $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 chapter 59, of the General Laws. Any taxpayer who receives a property tax abatement or exemption under Chapter 59 of the General Laws will also receive a pro rata reduction in the surcharge. A Community Preservation Committee composed of local citizens will make recommendations on the use of the funds which must then be approved by the City Council. All expenditures will be subject to an annual audit.