This week I got the letter below from the Register of Deeds, Bill O’Donnell, which highlights how Medfield loses twice by not having adopted the Massachusetts Community Preservation Act (CPA):
- first because our residents paid $45,290 in 2014 in Registry of Deeds surcharges to support the CPA, money that then got distributed to other towns, and, then
- second because Medfield has not adopted the CPA it does not share in the matching state monies given to communities that do participate.
The CPA is akin to a town savings account for three specified areas:
- historic preservation,
- affordable housing, and
- open spaces or recreational uses.
Once a town adopts the CPA, it taxes itself 1-3% extra each year, and the state provides matching monies. The match started at 100%, but as more towns opted in the match has dropped to around 30% – still free state monies. A town committee would decide on what to spend the CPA monies. I heard about lots of uses for CPA funds in other towns at the MMA annual meeting last weekend
For me it is crazy not to pick up the free state monies, if we think/know that we will be spending monies on the three covered areas any time in the future. It is one clear way to save on our property taxes. The only reason for someone not to want to adopt the CPA is if they do not intend to continue living in Medfield.
Therefore, I will ask that a warrant article be placed on the warrant for the Annual Town Meeting about adopting the CPA.
For more information on the CPA click through to http://www.communitypreservation.org/
COUNTY OF NORFOLK
COUNTY OF PRESIDENTS
REGISTRY OF DEEDS
NORFOLK REGISTRY DISTRICT OF THE LAND COURTWILLIAM P. O’DONNELL
REGISTER OF DEEDS
ASSISTANT RECORDER OF THE
Medfield Board of Selectmen Osier L. Peterson 10 Copperwood Rd. Medfield, MA 02052
Dear Selectman Peterson.
As Register of the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds. I thought the reverse side chart that illustrates the amount of funds generated from the Community Preservation Act (CPA) would be of interest to you. This revenue is based on recorded real estate filings from your community in calendar year 2014.
The Registry, at no cost to the Commonwealth or local communities, collects these revenues for the state when a document is recorded. These monies are then forwarded to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue on a monthly basis. The funds collected by the Commonwealth are then redistributed to communities that have adopted the CPA through a variety of formulas.
The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds which is located at 649 High Street, Dedham. is the principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners. mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. For assistance please contact our Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101. or visit our website at http://www.norfolkdeeds.org.
I hope you find this information informative and useful. If I can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me at 781-461-6116 or by email at email@example.com.
William P. O’Donnell
Norfolk County Register of Deeds
649 HIGH STREET. DEDHAM. MASSACHUSETTS 02026 TELEPHONE: 781-461-6116 FAX: 781-326-4246
twitter.com/NorfolkDeeds □ youtube.com/NorfolkDeeds linkedin.com/company/Norfolk-County-Registry-of-Deeds
NORFOLK COUNTY REGISTRY OF DEEDS
COMMUNITY PRESERVATION ACT (CPA) SURCHARGES BY TOWN FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2014
MTU IS $26,370.00
I find it absolutely stunning that there is no coverage of school budgets, in particular the relationship of cost to rising and falling student populations. School spending represents, far and away, the largest item in any town or city budget, yet no one seems to want to deal with the issue. Also, I see nothing on the agenda that addresses the massive shortfall in the funding of employee benefits. I note that there’s a session on “Lessons and land mines”. Is this a tutorial to help public officials avoid facing the really important fiscal issues? Very disappointing.
Sent from my iPad
Thanks for your comments. i am catching up,so please excuse my delay.
First, town officials have absolutely no say or control over school budgets, so I would guess that is the reason that there are no MMA seminars on school budgets. The town as a whole can only approve or not the total school budget at the town meeting, but once a budget amount is approved by the town meeting it is then up to the superintendent as to how those monies get spent. While I am exceedingly interested in the school budget issues you raise, please know that i already probably spend about 20 hours a week already just trying to do my volunteer job as a selectman (and i also have a full time job as an attorney), so I have yet to find the extra time to study the school budget issues. Also, those issues really are the purview of the school committee, not the selectmen, despite my interest.
I see that the school committee meeting to discuss the budget got postponed by the storm, and so i encourage you to go to the re-scheduled meeting to raise your school budget issues with them.
Second, I certainly did hear about OPEB liabilities again this year at the MMA annual meeting, although I did hear more about it last year. The MMA is seeking to be part of the solution, crafting legislation to improve the OPEB situation. Governor Patrick’s commission on the OPEB issue made recommendations over a year ago, but the MMA opposed them on the basis that they both did not do enough and also what id did do would make things worse for towns. Look at the MMA’s website (www.mma.org) and you should find the action item that the membership voted on this past Saturday morning to ask the legislature to enact OPEB reforms.