Recent changes to the commonwealth’s Community Preservation Act(CPA) have added funds to the program and have provided for increased flexibility for the cities and towns that have adopted it.
Communities that adopt CPA can vote to add up to a 3% surcharge on property taxes to pay for capital improvements for open space preservation, historic preservation, outdoor recreation, and affordable housing. These funds are matched by the state, but in recent years, that match has decreased significantly from 100% to a projected 22%.
Recent legislation has added $25 million to the state’s trust fund for CPA, which came from the state’s surplus account.
Prior to the recent CPA legislation, communities could not make improvements on existing recreational land. It could only be used on recreational land that was purchased with CPA funds. The recent change to CPA gives cities and towns more flexibility allowing CPA funds to be used to make capital improvements like a playground to pre-existing recreational land.
The cities and towns that have adopted CPA in the Pioneer Valley are: Agawam, Amherst, Belchertown, Conway, Deerfield, E. Longmeadow, Easthampton, Goshen, Granville, Hadley, Hampden, Hatfield, Longmeadow, Northampton, Southampton, Southwick, Sturbridge, West Springfield, Westfield, and Wilbraham.
For a complete list of recent changes to CPA, click here.