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- Community Preservation Committee
Community Preservation Committee
The mission of the Community Preservation Committee is to study the needs, resources and possibilities of Dighton. In cooperation with various town boards, organizations, and citizens, the committee will evaluate proposals for the use of CPA funds for the maximum benefit to the Town of Dighton. As per the Community Preservation Act, it is our mandate to create and maintain a Community Preservation Plan that will protect, expand or enhance open space, historic resources, affordable housing and outdoor recreation.
The committee is to accept project proposals from the community, and conduct a thorough review of them, with the aim of selecting the most compelling projects. The CPC will then recommend to the Town Meeting those projects which it feels will best achieve the purpose of the Community Preservation act legislation. The committee strives and takes pride in being open, transparent and fair. Please email the Chairman or clerk for further questions or requests.
- Kevin Smith, Jr., Chairman
Term expires: 2024
- Allisha Wilson, Vice Chairman
- Patricia Gailes, Historic Commission Representative
Term expires: 2026
- David Eckerson, Financial Clerk
Term expires: 2024
- Jonathan Gale, At-Large Member
Term expires: 2025
- Daniel Higgins, Planning Board Representative
Term expires: 2024
- James Digits, Conservation Commission Representative
Term expires: 2024
- William Fontaine, Housing Authority Representative
Term expires: 2026
- Brand Cedrone, At-Large Member
- 5:30 PM
- Monthly meetings held on third Thursday
- Prime Time, 1059 Somerset Ave. Dighton, MA 02715 (subject to change, see agenda)
What is the CPA?
The Community Preservation Act (CPA) is a smart growth tool that helps communities preserve open space and historic sites, create affordable housing, and develop outdoor recreational facilities. CPA also helps strengthen the state and local economies by expanding housing opportunities and construction jobs for the Commonwealth's workforce, and by supporting the tourism industry through preservation of the Commonwealth’s historic and natural resources.
CPA allows communities to create a local Community Preservation Fund for open space protection, historic preservation, affordable housing and outdoor recreation. Community preservation monies are raised locally through the imposition of a surcharge of not more than 3% of the tax levy against real property, and municipalities must adopt CPA by ballot referendum. To date, 189 municipalities in the state have adopted CPA.
The CPA statute also creates a statewide Community Preservation Trust Fund, administered by the Department of Revenue (DOR), which provides distributions each year to communities that have adopted CPA. These annual disbursements serve as an incentive for communities to pass CPA.
Each CPA community creates a local Community Preservation Committee (CPC) upon adoption of the Act, and this five-to-nine member board makes recommendations on CPA projects to the community’s legislative body.
Property taxes traditionally fund the day-to-day operating needs of safety, health, schools, roads, maintenance, and more. But until CPA was enacted, there was no steady funding source for preserving and improving a community's character and quality of life. The Community Preservation Act gives a community the funds needed to control its future.
Community Preservation Coalition
6 Beacon Street, Suite 615
Boston, MA 02108
Have A Specific Question?
Click here for the Coalition's CPA Project Reference Guide
- How does the CPA affect property taxes?
The surcharge added to property taxes can be no more than 3% of ones real estate property taxes. The town can elect a surcharge smaller than this, such as 1%. However, towns that adopt the 3% surcharge will receive a larger match from the state. Any portion of a taxpayer’s real property taxes that are already exempt are also exempt from the CPA. The town can also decide to allow exemptions for low income households or moderate income seniors, the first $100,000 of taxable value of residential real estate and for class 3 (commercial) and 4 (industrial) properties.
In Dighton the surcharge would be 1%, with low-income households (up to 80% of median income) and moderate-income seniors (earning up to 100% of median income) exempt from contributing. The first $100,000 of any residential property is also exempt. The average household in Dighton would pay between $25-30 per year. In Dighton the surcharge will be 1% of the tax bill so the average resident will pay between $25-30 annually. There will also be exemptions for low income households and moderate income seniors. The first $100,000 of taxable residential property value will also be exempted.
Residential Surcharge Example:
House value: $350,000
Exemption: - $100,000
Taxable value for surcharge: $250,000
Tax rate $11.50 per $1,000 of house value. Annual property tax bill $2,875.00
Annual CPA surcharge: $2,875.00 x 0.01 = $28.57 per year
- Can the surcharge go up?
To increase the surcharge it must be put on the ballot at a town meeting. It would then be voted on at the next regularly scheduled election.
- Who controls the money?
After a town adopts the CPA, a local Community Preservation Committee is formed. The committee must hold public meetings where citizens can suggest ways to spend the money. The committee will make recommendations on how to spend the money at town meeting. Here Dighton residents will be able to vote for or against the projects.
- How can the money be spent?
Each fiscal year the town must spend 10% of the money collected on each of the following 1) open space 2) historic resources 3) community housing. Up to 5% can be spent on administrative costs. The remaining money can be spent on the above uses as well as recreational purposes. The money collected can also be saved and spent on these areas in future years.
- Can the town withdraw from the CPA?
The town must keep the CPA for 5 years. Afterwards the town can vote to withdraw.
- Where Does CPA Funding Come From?
Cities and towns that adopt the Community Preservation Act (CPA) generate monies for their local Community Preservation funds through the implementation of a local CPA property tax surcharge of up to 3% and through the receipt of annual matching of funds, at variable rates, from a statewide CPA Trust Fund created by the Act. Only communities that have adopted CPA are eligible to receive these matching funds each year.
- What is the CPA Trust Fund?
Cities and towns that adopt CPA obtain community preservation funds from two sources - a local property tax surcharge and a yearly distribution from the statewide CPA Trust Fund. Trust fund revenues are derived from a surcharge placed on all real estate transactions at the state's Registries of Deeds. The surcharge for most documents filed at the Registries is $50, which is immediately deposited the CPA Trust Fund held at the Department of Revenue (DOR). Municipal lien certificates are subject to a $25 surcharge. Depending upon how the real estate market is doing, the $50/$25 fees add up to approximately $60 million per year (Note: the original CPA legislation set these fees at $25 and $10 respectively. DOR tracks the receipts and posts a monthly report on these collections and they use that data to provide an estimate of the annual trust fund distribution each spring. Every CPA community receives their distribution from the trust fund at a formula-based percentage of what they raised locally.
- Is Our Project Allowable?
The CPA requires that communities spend, or set aside for future spending, a minimum of 10% of their annual CPA revenues for each of the three following categories: open space/recreation, historic preservation, and community housing. The remaining 70% of the funds are undesignated, and can be used for any allowable project in any of the CPA categories. This gives each community tremendous flexibility to determine its own priorities. For more information https://www.communitypreservation.org/allowable-uses