Community Preservation Act Funds

How the Funds Work - An Overview

The Community Preservation Act (the “CPA” or “the Act”) is a Massachusetts law that provides for participating municipalities to adopt and dedicate a property tax surcharge of up to 3 percent to specified community preservation purposes, with the state matching a portion of local receipts. Changes to the CPA enacted in July 2012 now allow municipalities to dedicate some combination of a minimum 1 percent property tax surcharge and other municipal revenues up to a maximum 3 percent to be matched in part by the state.

The Town of Weston adopted the CPA in 2001 and voted to surcharge up to the 3 percent maximum. During the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, the Town collected nearly $1.9 million in CPA property surcharge revenue and over $635,000 in matching state funds. At the end of fiscal 2015, Weston’s CPA fund totaled approximately $6.1 million.

CPA Project Categories

The CPA requires that communities spend, or set aside for future spending, a minimum of 10% of annual CPA revenues on each of the following 3 categories:
  1. Community housing
  2. Historic resources
  3. Open space (including recreational purposes)
The remaining 70 percent of funds must be reserved for or appropriated to any one or a combination of the three CPA uses, including public recreational purposes, at the discretion of the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) and subject to the approval of Town Meeting. Up to 5 percent of annual CPA revenues may be spent on the operation and administrative costs of the CPC.

Governing Committee

The Community Preservation Committee is charged with studying the needs, possibilities, and resources of the Town regarding community preservation and with making recommendations to Town Meeting regarding the appropriation of CPA funds.

Appointed Members

Under Town by-law, one member is from, and is appointed by the:
  • Conservation Commission
  • Historical Commission
  • Housing Partnership
  • Planning Board
A parks representative is appointed by the Select Board; and four at-large members are appointed by the Moderator.

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