CPA – town missing out


The letter below that I received this week from the Norfolk Register of Deeds highlights for Medfield how, as a town, we all pay in to the Massachusetts Community Preservation Act (CPA) fund ($44,250 last year), but we get none of the monies or benefits back because we have not adopted the CPA.

The CPA is a self-imposed additional tax of from 1-3%, in exchange for which the town get state matching monies.   CPA monies have to be spent on one of three areas:

  • historic preservation
  • affordable housing
  • open space and recreation

My analysis has always been that where we already spend on those three things anyway, that by not adopting the CPA that we are merely forgoing the state matching monies.

The one time the CPA went to the annual town meeting (ATM), about ten years ago, it was defeated.

WILLIAM P. ODONNELL REGISTER OF DEEDS ASSISTANT RECORDER OF THE LAND COURT Selectman Osler L. Peterson Medfield Board of Selectmen  0 Copperwood Road Medfield, MA 02052 Dear Selectman Peterson, COUNTY OF NORFOLK COUNTY OF PRESIDENTS REGISTRY OF DEEDS NORFOLK REGISTRY DISTRICT OF THE L AND C O URT January 18, 2019 The fees for the Community Preservation Act are set by the State Legislature on land documents recorded here at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds. l thought the chart on the reverse side would be of interest to you. It provides an illustration of the funds generated by the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in your community based on recorded real estate filings during the 2018 calendar year. The Community Preservation Act was signed into law on September 14, 2000. Today there are 175 Massachusetts communities that have adopted the Community Preservation Act, including this year the town of Plainville in Norfolk County. Just over 2.1 billion dollars has been raised to date statewide. The Registry of Deeds, at no additional cost to the Commonwealth or local communities, collects these revenues for the state once a document is recorded. The monies are then forwarded to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue on a monthly basi s. The funds collected by the Commonwealth are then redistributed back to the 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, genealogists, 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 www.norfolkdeeds.org. J hope you find this data to be timely, informative and useful. In the meantime, if I can be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me at 781-461-6116 or by email at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org. I wish you a healthy New Year. WPO/aag Sincerely yours, "P~(}p~ William P. O'Donnell Norfolk County Register of Deeds 649 HIGH STREET. DEDHAM. MASSACHUSETTS 02026 TELEPH ONE : 781 ·46 I · 61 16 FAX 78 1 ·326·4246 EM A I L : registerodonnell@norlolkdeeds.org www .norfolkdeeds.org •~7SC ~ facebook.com/NorfolkDeeds ~ twitter.com/NorfolkDeeds YouiD youtube.com/NorfolkDeeds Linked rm linkedin.com/company/Norfolk·County·Registry·Of·Deeds (.@) @NorfolkDeeds NORFOLK COUNTY REGISTRY OF DEEDS •I COMMUNITY PRESERVATION ACT (CPA) SURCHARGES BY TOWN FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2018 TOWN TOTAL AVON $1~,450 BF.I ,IJNGHAM $66,660 BRAINTREE $112,570 BROOKLINE $150,350 CANTON $86,090 COHASSET $39,420 DEDHAM $83,650 DOVER $23,650 , FOXBOROUGH $58,270 FRANKLIN $110,350 •( HOLBROOK . $40,100 MEDFIET,n $44,150 MEDWAY $47,000 MILLIS $31,420 MILTON $86,060 NEEDHAM $103,370 NORFOLK $40,980 NORWOOD $80,170 PLAINVILLE $29,560 QUINCY $244,110 RANDOLPH $100,420 SHARON $56,740 STOUGHTON $96,000 WALPOLE $88,710 WELLESLEY $87,090 WESTWOOD $51,890 WEYMOUTH $200,460 WRENTHAM $47,530 II :''20190118-norfolk register of deeds-ltr from-cpa figures for 2018_page_2

2 responses to “CPA – town missing out

  1. Colleen Sullivan

    Hi Pete, In reading this CPA letter and your comments, it certainly seems silly for Medfield to NOT adopt the CPA. Am I understanding this correctly?  Medfield is currently paying the State $44,150, and we getting nothing in return, but if we adopt the CPA, we still pay this amount, but we would get all if back to use for: – historic preservation – affordable housing – open space and recreation

    Do you feel it that the Town of Medfield should put it on the Warrant and try again? Who would place it on the Warrant? Thanks,Colleen

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  2. Selectman Osler "Pete" Peterson

    It does not work exactly as you posited, but somewhat similarly.

    This website (https://www.communitypreservation.org/) has really good explanations of the Massachusetts Community Preservation Act (CPA) and its many ramifications – it is way better than I can provide.

    There has been a town CPA Study Committee, which could champion its passage. The Board of Selectmen may have put it on the warrant the last time. The last few times it was on the annual town meeting (ATM) warrant, it was pulled, as no one was championing it.

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