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Councilors vote to sustain community preservation

February 8, 2019

City Council

Published by:

City Council

In November 2016, Boston voters passed the Community Preservation Act (CPA) by ballot initiative.

The CPA raises funds via a 1% surcharge on real estate property tax bills and uses these funds to support efforts to increase affordable housing, parks, open space, and historic preservation efforts across the City. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides matching funds to local Community Preservation Act (CPA) municipalities via the Community Preservation Trust, a fund generated by the current $20 Registry of Deeds filing fee.

State-match funding is necessary to ensure that the CPA remains an effective part of our city’s planning, community stabilization and preservation efforts in an era of rapid growth and development across all neighborhoods. Despite continued advocacy from stakeholders at the municipal and state levels, the Registry of Deeds filing fee has not been adjusted to meet current needs in nearly 19 years.

This week, the City Council adopted a resolution in support of H.D. 2835/S.D. 746, An Act to Sustain Community Preservation. By allowing passage and implementation, this bill would adjust the surcharge on fees for recording deeds to increase match-funding revenue as prescribed by the Community Preservation Act.

As Boston continues to go through an era of rapid growth and development, the City of Boston is dependent on tools such as Community Preservation funds as part of our community stabilization and preservation efforts.

Despite continued advocacy from stakeholders at the municipal and state levels, relying on the state’s budget surplus as a funding stream for a short-term solution presents municipalities with unpredictable state-match funding where more predictable state-matching funding is necessary for more effective City planning.

The proposed legislation already has over 100 co-sponsors at the state.