WHAT IS BEING PROPOSED?
The Community Preservation Shrewsbury ballot committee is proposing that Shrewsbury opt-in by adopting the Community Preservation Act with a conservative surcharge of 1% of the tax levy against real property and including the allowable exemptions described below. If approved by ballot referendum, a community can hold another referendum in the future to adjust the surcharge, exemptions, or revoke adoption.
HOW CAN CPA BENEFIT SHREWSBURY?
The CPA will provide funds for community-enriching projects that may otherwise never be realized. Examples of projects that could be funded with CPA include:
- Outdoor Recreation
- Creating or rehabilitating public parks, playgrounds, community gardens, and trails
- Creating or rehabilitating athletic fields for noncommercial youth and adult sports
- Creating or rehabilitating public docks, canoe and kayak launches
- Creating a dog park
- Rehabilitating public parks for accessibility per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Open Space Protection
- Acquiring open space throughout Shrewsbury
- Preserving more land that directly impacts the public water supply
- Acquiring or preserving available large parcels to protect as a nature preserve or for recreation
- Historic Preservation
- Preserving qualifying historic buildings
- Restoring of historic artifacts
- Funding archaeological surveys and property inventories, historic markers and wayfinding
- Preserving historical records by digitization
- Affordable Housing
- Creating low-income senior housing
- Acquiring historic structures for preservation and repurposing them for affordable housing
- Supporting housing and rental assistance programs for qualifying residents
- Acquiring existing 40B apartment units that are aging out and going to market rate
An official CPA allowable spending chart can be found here: https://www.communitypreservation.org/sites/macpc/files/uploads/dor-allowable-uses-2012.pdf
WHY DO WE NEED TO ADOPT CPA NOW?
- We are losing out on state revenue that could otherwise make eligible CPA projects funded at a discount.
- Shrewsbury continues to lose its historic character and what little open space we have left.
- Shrewsbury has produced numerous planning documents to capture our community needs, including Master Plans, Open Space and Recreation Surveys, Housing Production Plans, etc. Adopting CPA finally gives us a way to act on those applicable plans and pay for them!
- CPA funds can be a source to tap into when opportunities arise to protect our history, our lands, our water, or react to crises impacting our most vulnerable populations.
HOW MUCH WILL CPA COST?
The average Shrewsbury single family homeowner would pay $47.21 a year or $11.80 on a quarterly tax bill for FY20. Here are sample costs:
|Assessed Property Value||Less $100,000 per Exemption||Annual Property Owner Surcharge (1), (2)|
Average Single Family Property Value
- (1) Exempted property owners will not be charged
- (2) Tax rate for FY2020 is $12.47 per thousand.
- (3) Source: MA Dept of Revenue
- (4) Calculation: ($478,603 – $100,000[exemption]) / 1000 * $12.47 [tax rate] * 1% [surcharge rate] = $47.21
WHO IS EXEMPT?
- 100% surcharge exemption for qualifying low-income property owners
- 100% surcharge exemption for qualifying low to moderate-income senior property owners
- For ALL Residential, Class 3 Commercial, and Class 4 Industrial properties, the first $100,000 of taxable property value is automatically deducted prior to calculating the CPA surcharge. This ensures that the lowest valued properties are impacted the least if at all.
HOW MUCH COULD CPA GENERATE FOR APPLICABLE PROJECTS IN SHREWSBURY?
Communities that adopt CPA obtain funds from two sources: a local property tax surcharge and a yearly distribution from the statewide CPA Trust Fund. The local property tax surcharge is estimated to generate over $600,000 annually. The state CPA Trust Fund contribution would have been 23.9% of the local surcharge for FY20!
WHO DECIDES WHICH PROJECTS ARE FUNDED?
The town would exert local control of the CPA fund through a required new committee named the Community Preservation Committee (CPC). The CPC members must by statute include one member each from the Conservation Commission, Planning Board, Historical Commission, Housing Authority, and Parks & Cemetery Commission, and may add up to 4 at-large members.
Project proposals are submitted by the community, town departments, and residents. The CPC will review the projects to ensure they are allowable under the CPA structure. They will also weigh in on and prioritize the proposals against the needs of the community specifically as it relates to CPA project categories. The slate of CPC accepted projects and fund allocations are then turned into warrant articles for a future town meeting. The Finance Committee and Board of Selectmen will still have their usual review process of warrant articles. Lastly, your 240 elected Representative Town Meeting Members will review and consider approval of the CPA projects. This means CPA project proposals will still have the checks and balances that we expect from our town government.
WHAT IS THE TIMELINE AND PROCESS FOR ADOPTING CPA?
Earlier this year, our committee met with town boards and commissions, social and community groups. With feedback in hand, Community Preservation Shrewsbury submitted a warrant article for the 2020 Annual Town Meeting requesting to adopt CPA. Town Meeting was held and approved the article. This triggered a ballot referendum for the 2020 State Election for Shrewsbury voters to decide whether to adopt CPA. Only after voters approve the proposal in a general election will the act be adopted for Shrewsbury.
HAVE WE SOCIALIZED THIS PROPOSAL?
Our committee has held a number of speaking engagements with the below Shrewsbury boards, commissions, and interest groups to socialize our proposal and to hear their feedback. Additionally, we have spoken with contacts in Northborough and Grafton, both CPA adopted communities. If you would like us to speak with your group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Shrewsbury Boards and Commissions
- Conservation Commission
- Historical Commission
- Housing Authority
- Parks & Cemetery Commission
- Planning Board
- Council on Aging Board
- Lake Quinsigamond Commission
- Historic District Commission
- Trails Committee
- Shrewsbury Interest Groups
- Historical Society
- Lake Quinsigamond Watershed Association
- Friends of Prospect Park
- Beal PTO
- Coolidge PTO
- Sherwood & Oak PTO
- Shrewsbury Republican Town Committee
- Shrewsbury Democratic Town Committee
- Rotary Club of Shrewsbury
- Shrewsbury Garden Club
- Shrewsbury Youth Lacrosse
- CPA Town Governments
- Northborough CPC Chairperson
- Northborough Town Planner
- Northborough Affordable Housing Corporation
- Grafton Town Administrator