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.

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1. How does the CPA affect property taxes?
2. Can the surcharge go up?
3. Who controls the money?
4. How can the money be spent?
5. Can the town withdraw from the CPA?
6. Where Does CPA Funding Come From?
7. What is the CPA Trust Fund?
8. Is Our Project Allowable?