Fee hike to fund Community Preservation Act grows in Massachusetts House

A Telegram.com article written on April 21st, announces that State Representative Will Crocker is among the legislators to support a budget amendment that would make more fees available for the Community Preservation Act.

Fee hike to fund Community Preservation Act grows in Massachusetts House

Telegram.com

Michael P. Norton, State House News Service

April 21, 2018

The downward spiral in state matching funds for communities that have agreed to local tax hikes to pay for Community Preservation Act investments has grown so severe that state lawmakers are now pushing for a deeds fee increase.

According to the Community Preservation Coalition, the base state match was 17.2 percent last year and the Department of Revenue is now projecting it will fall to 11.5 percent when the state distributes CPA Trust Fund revenues in November.

With support from House Minority Leader Brad Jones, 70 House members have signed on to a budget amendment (#466) that Rep. Aaron Michlewitz and Kate Hogan plan to offer during next week’s House budget debate that would increase deed fees to make more state money available for the CPA. Other Republicans who have signed on to support the fee amendment are Reps. Angelo D’Emilia, Timothy Whelan, William Crocker Jr., and Matthew Moratore. Independents Susannah Whipps and Solomon Goldstein-Rose are also co-sponsors.

Voters in Boston, Springfield, Pittsfield, Holyoke, Chelsea and Watertown recently adopted the CPA, agreeing to local tax increases in exchange for matching funds from the state to finance local housing, historic preservation and open space projects.

The dwindling state matching funds, even in the face of record state spending, have chipped away at the idea that the program is a partnership, with local voters in recent years shouldering the bulk of the program costs.

Read the full article here.