Community Preservation Act
By adopting the CPA, the City has created a Community Preservation Fund. The City finances this fund in part by a 1% property tax-based surcharge on residential and business property tax bills, beginning in July 2017. The City will use this revenue to fund the following types of initiatives consistent with CPA guidelines:
- affordable housing
- historic preservation
- open space, and
- public recreation.
Surcharge on your tax bill
The CPA surcharge may appear on your quarterly tax bills beginning in Fiscal Year 2018. It will show up as a line item in the table on the right side of the bill.
Calculating the surcharge
We calculate the CPA surcharge by first deducting $100,000 from the value of your property. Next, we recalculate the tax and apply your residential exemption and any personal exemptions, if you have them.
‘Revised net tax’
To figure out the CPA surcharge, the remaining tax amount is the “revised net tax.” Your CPA surcharge is 1% of the revised net tax, divided over your four (4) quarterly tax bills. For first- and second-quarter tax bills, the CPA surcharge is estimated using your revised net tax from the prior year.
Residential and commercial property owners may be assessed a CPA surcharge unless:
- the revised net tax is $0, or
- the property receives an exemption from the CPA surcharge.
The surcharge exemption is available to low-income and low- and moderate-income senior property owners. You need to submit an application for exemption to the Assessing Department. We base eligibility on qualifying income limits that are provided in the table below. For Fiscal Year 2023, we will determine your exemption eligibility based on your 2021 income.
Exemption applications are available beginning in January of each fiscal year. They must be filed with the Assessing Department by April 1 of the Fiscal Year.
The Fiscal Year 2023 surcharge exemption application is due by April 3, 2023.
You may be asked to submit supporting documents, such as your federal and state income tax returns, with your application.
How CPA funds are spent
By law, the City must form a Community Preservation Committee. This committee figures out community preservation needs and makes recommendations to the City on how CPA funds should be allocated.
The funding of any preservation project requires a recommendation from the committee and appropriation by the City. We’ll provide information on the projects to be funded with CPA revenue on this page: