the community preservation act in northborough
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The Community Preservation Act in Northborough. The Community Preservation Coalition. Who We Are Partnership of advocates for open space, affordable housing and historic preservation Worked for 15 years to help pass the CPA in the state legislature

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The Community Preservation Coalition

  • Who We Are
  • Partnership of advocates for open space, affordable housing and historic preservation
  • Worked for 15 years to help pass the CPA in the state legislature
  • Helping communities to understand, adopt and implement CPA.

The Community Preservation Act

Allows communities to establish a dedicated fund for:

Open Space

Historic Preservation

Affordable Housing


Basics of the Act

  • Local adoption needed
  • Establishes up to a 3% surcharge
  • on local property taxes
  • Requires 10% of monies to be
  • spent on each of the 3 categories
  • Allows flexibility for the remaining
  • 70% in each of the 3 categories
  • Establishes a Community
  • Preservation Committee
  • Includes matching funds!
exemptions to the cpa
Exemptions to the CPA
  • First $100,000 of property value – exempts the first $100,000 of residential property value from the surcharge.
  • Low-moderate income – exempts any household that earns less than 80% of area median and any senior (60+) who earns up to 100% of the median.

What does that mean for the taxpayer?

Median Assessed Home Value $355,000

* With $100,000 exemption $100,000

Net House Value Surcharged $255,000

Municipal Tax Rate (per $1000) $ 13.79


Amount Subject to Surcharge $3516

CPA Surcharge Rate 1.5%


Amount paid toward CPA Fund $53

Based on this scenario, $53 would be paid into the Community Preservation Trust Fund annually

cpa revenue
CPA Revenue

Based on Northboro’s 1.5% surcharge and the included exemptions, the town will collect about $300,000 annually. This amount does not include the state matching funds.


State Matching Funds

Commissioner of Revenue

Disburses Match

(October 15th)

FY 2002

$17.8 Million



FY 2003

$27.2 Million




balance is

more than

$110 million

amending or repealing the cpa
Amending or Repealing the CPA
  • The CPA must remain in place for at least five years.
  • After five years the Act can be repealed at any time using the same procedures available for passage of the Act.
  • Amendments to the surcharge percentage or the authorized exemptions can be made at any time using the same procedures available for passage of the Act.

Historic Preservation

Community Preservation funds may be used for acquisition, preservation, rehabilitation or restoration of a building(s) or real property that:

  • has been determined by the local historic preservation
  • commission to be significant in the history, archeology,
  • architecture or culture of a city or town; or
  • is listed or eligible for listing on the state register of
  • historic places

Historic Preservation

  • Restoration of historic municipal
  • properties
  • Adaptive reuse
  • Capital improvements to existing sites
  • Reversal of historically inappropriate
  • alterations
  • Environmental mitigation
  • Signage
  • Grants to private non-profit groups, or
  • individuals with a preservation easement

Open Space

Community Preservation funds may be used to:

1. Purchase land

2. Purchase easements or restrictions on land

3. Protect drinking water

4. Protect nature preserves

5. Restore polluted land to its natural state

6. Protect farms and farmland - APR



Land can be purchased for :

1. Active and passive recreation

2. Community gardens,

3. Trails,

4. Non-commercial sports

5. Parks, playgrounds or

athletic fields.

cpa housing
CPA Housing
  • For families and individuals earning up to 100% of area median ($69,300,000 for a family of four, $55,440 for a couple, $48,510 for 1 person).
  • Units count under 40B so long as inhabitants earn less than 80% of median.
  • Other features:
    • requires a permanent deed restriction
    • Subject to zoning
    • All projects are approved locally

Community Preservation Committee

  • Membership: (one from each)
    • Conservation Commission
    • Historic Commission
    • Planning Board
    • Board of Park Commissioners
    • Housing Authority
    • Up to 4 additional members
cpa milestones
CPA Milestones
  • 65 Adopting Communities
  • 12-15 Communities voting in 2004
  • More than $116 million appropriated so far
  • More than 620 units of housing created
  • More than 4,000 acres of open space protected
  • More than 150 historic sites preserved
for further information
For Further Information