HOW IT WORKS
Interested in how the CPA would work in Milton? The following four steps explain the process.
By adopting the CPA, the Town of Milton will be able to better invest in the parks and outdoor recreational facilities that so many of its residents enjoy. The CPA will provide the funds necessary to enliven and improve existing parks, playgrounds, and athletic fields. Well-maintained outdoor spaces allow residents of all ages to safely engage in physical activity. Outdoor recreation enhances appreciation for the natural environment and provides a way for children, families, and seniors alike to unplug, unwind, and get outdoors.
The cost of housing in Milton is rising, and many families are finding it increasingly difficult to afford to live in the town they have long called home. At the same time, many residents are concerned by proposals for high-density housing developments that are out of scale with their neighborhood. Access to CPA funds will provide the Town of Milton with a seat at the negotiating table alongside real estate developers. In contrast to 40B developments, which bypass local zoning regulations, affordable units funded by the CPA will keep Milton accessible to working families and seniors while maintaining each neighborhood’s unique sense of community and place.
Adoption of the CPA would provide the Town of Milton with the funds it needs to improve and conserve the open spaces that are core to its character. Projects that have been funded by the CPA in other communities include building and improving trails, bridges, and boardwalks; making open spaces more accessible by bringing trails and other facilities into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); preserving land that is critical to protecting the public water supply; and planting new trees in areas affected by tree loss following severe weather.
Milton is home to more than 30 historic properties and districts. From the Suffolk Resolves House to the Atherton Street Fire Station, these landmarks enhance the town’s unique character and preserve its rich history. CPA-funded preservation and revitalization of historic properties will ensure these sites will be enjoyed by residents of and visitors to Milton for years to come. Historic preservation initiatives promote economic development by creating employment opportunities in the fields of construction, hospitality, and tourism.
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The State Law
The Community Preservation Act (CPA) has been a Massachusetts state law (M.G.L. Chapter 44B) for 20 years. The CPA allows Massachusetts communities to establish a dedicated fund-- known as a Community Preservation Fund-- to enhance and conserve open spaces; improve and restore parks, playgrounds and athletic fields; preserve and rehabilitate historic properties and districts; and identify solutions to meet affordable housing needs.
Only communities that have adopted the CPA are eligible to receive disbursements from the state’s Community Preservation Trust Fund. In exchange, communities that adopt the CPA agree to impose a modest surcharge on local residential and commercial property tax bills. The average CPA surcharge for a single-family homeowner in Milton would be $83.69 per year, or $20.92 per quarter. Low-income residents and low-to-moderate income seniors will be exempt from the surcharge. To learn more about how the CPA surcharge may affect you, visit our calculator here.
Only communities that have adopted the CPA are eligible to receive disbursements from the state’s Community Preservation Trust Fund. In exchange, communities that adopt the CPA agree to impose a small surcharge on local residential and commercial property tax bills. The YES for Milton campaign is proposing that Milton adopt the Community Preservation Act by adding a conservative property tax-based surcharge to residential and commercial property tax bills beginning in the fiscal year 2022.
Implementing the CPA
If Milton voters vote YES to adopt the CPA, the Town of Milton would maintain local control over the CPA Fund through a Community Preservation Committee (CPC). The CPC members must, by statute, include one member each from the Conservation Commission, Historical Commission, Planning Board, Board of Park Commissioners, and Housing Authority. The CPC may also add up to 4 at-large members from the community. Project proposals would be submitted to and reviewed by the CPC. Following CPC approval, all CPA projects and funding allocations would be presented to and voted upon by Town Meeting.