Seekonk Talks

This forum is a place to discuss all things Seekonk. We are not affiliated with the Town of Seekonk.
 
HomeGalleryRegisterLog in
SPECIAL TOWN VOTE AUG 31ST!!! VOTE YAY OR NAY FOR THE NORTH FIRE STATION RENOVATION!!!
October 2018
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   
CalendarCalendar
Newspapers

Share | 
 

 Community Preservation Act

Go down 
Go to page : 1, 2  Next
AuthorMessage
Dave
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 325
Join date : 2009-01-18
Age : 106

20090206
PostCommunity Preservation Act

Quote :
By George Morse (Seekonk Star)

SEEKONK - The town may have just defeated a debt exclusion that would have cost about $40 a year and now a few citizens want to head back to the polls in April to ask for $29 a year.
On Monday night, John Alves, of River Street, appeared before the Seekonk Board of Selectmen to make a presentation of the Community Preservation Act (CPA). Mr. Alves is part of a citizen group currently circulating a petition to get the CPA on the ballot for the upcoming town elections on April 6.

Mr. Alves said the CPA would not require a 2.5 override and could be funded with a cost to the average homeowner of $29 a year.
Last April, the town defeated a CPA measure by a margin of 824 against to 774 in favor. Like the vote from last year, a number of residents and town officials spoke in opposition to the measure.

Christine Allen said that while it’s nice to want open spaces and “hear splashing water,” it’s no time to put $29 onto already burdened taxpayers. She added that while Massachusetts has previously matched CPA funds above 50 percent, the state is only required to match 5 percent. Despite speaking out against a $29 increase for the CPA, Ms. Allen serves on the building committee that recently pushed for an average increase of $44 a year to fund a new community center.

Selectman Robert Richardson said that while he agrees with the CPA in principal, it’s not the right time to come out with it, not with the economy the way it is and unemployment figures as high as they are.

“To add $29 to a tax bill, it could break somebody,” Mr. Richardson said.
All Mr. Alves was looking for from the selectmen though was an endorsement to send the CPA to the April ballot, something the town’s planning board recently issued.

The selectmen voted 3-1 to endorse the issue heading to the polls while not endorsing the act itself. Mr. Richardson voted in opposition and Selectmen John Whelan wasn’t present at the meeting.

A state law since 2000, the CPA enables cities and towns to establish a dedicated fun for the protection of open space, preservation of historic places and creation of recreational facilities and community housing. Funds for the CPA are generated by a surcharge on local property taxes and matched with dedicated state funding to create a local community preservation fund. Once established, 10 percent of this fund must be annually dedicated to each of three core areas – open space preservation, historic preservation and affordable community houses. The remaining percentage can be spent or reserved for future spending in any of the areas, as well as additional areas for outdoor recreation like ball fields or trails.

A citizen group pushing for a CPA ballot measure, which includes Mr. Alves, is currently circulating a petition that provides for a 1.25 percent surcharge on property tax bills, with low income families and low and moderate income seniors receiving an exemption. Also, the first $100,000 of residential property value is exempt.

On average, this will represent about a contribution of $29 per household.
There are 140 communities currently involved with the CPA. This past November, seven out of seven communities were added to this figure. These towns have completed projects such as creating community farms, protecting wetlands, restoring wildlife habitats, refurbishing historic buildings and developing housing plans.
For more information, visit www.cpaseekonk.org.


[url][/url]
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://seekonktalks.forumotion.net

 Similar topics

-
» Jogja Reef Community JRC
» Sekilas tentang ikan cupang
» Brick and Mortar RLSH School
» The Italian RLSH community is rising!
» Community Centers
Share this post on: diggdeliciousredditstumbleuponslashdotyahoogooglelive

Community Preservation Act :: Comments

avatar
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post on Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:17 am  Dave
The one thing I like about Little Compton is the open space and how protective that town is of it's identity and character. They generate funding for their CPA through the transfer of property. There is a percentage of the sale paid. Does anyone know if there is a funding source for our CPA or is the article about creating a funding source for CPA?
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post on Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:50 am  tombenoit
If I recall correctly, the funding for the CPA is strictly a surcharge on property tax.
avatar
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post on Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:00 pm  mkreyssig
yes...it's a surcharge that can be anywhere from 1% to I think 3%, but it may even be 5%...I think the Seeknk group is pushing for 1.5%.

The money can only be used for open space or section 8 housing.

The state can match dollar for dollar what each community puts in, though it hasn't recently for the communities that do participate, and you can be sure in will not be doing that in the foreseeable future.

I think the SRC is meeting with one of the reps tomorrow, so I can have better details then.
CPA
Post on Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:45 pm  wlrice
Seekonk CPA is asking for the town voters to approve a 1.25 % tax on a $100,000 reduced valuation of residential property. This also includes a complete exemption for low income and seniors. Yes, the state supplies their part of the money from a charge to real estate title changes. This money goes into a pool from which all towns that have approved the Act receive relatively equal shares of that pool. The only time that share decreases is when the income shrinks or the number of towns increases. There is a present guarantee that the share will never go below 5% of the town's contribution. In the works at the legislature is an amendment that will guarantee the towns a 75% match to the funds they collect. This is, of course, going to be effected by the economy - on both sides of the bargain.. The net result, in any case, is a fund that allows each town to invest in the future of their community...in the purchase and development of open space, parks, recreation areas, preservation of historical sites, and providing affordable housing. These monies can also be used to seed grants and fund bonds that don't increase the town's debt burden. So far, 140 towns have spent a combined $500,000,000 to preserve their communities. At present Seekonk derives about 70% of it's operating expenses from property taxes and about 20% from the state. The only way so far fund expenses is to cover the town land with houses. This is a never ending downward spiral of more houses, more expenses for ....everything from streets, schools, fire, police, pollution and loss of quality of life

Bill Rice, North Seekonk.
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post on Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:13 pm  seek2mend
Mr Rice,
Please correct me if I am wrong. I understand this act grants the legislative branch (Town meeting) the authority to initiate eminent domain. Could you elaborate? Thanks.
Community Preservation Act
Post on Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:37 am  wlrice
This quote from a previous post is incorrect: "Like the vote from last year, a number of residents and town officials spoke in opposition to the measure" Only one person from the audience spoke out to question the Community Preservation Act. Only 2 members of the BOS spoke directly against the Act. Hardly anything like large "numbers". there is also somewhere in this site a statement that the CPA has the right of eminent domain to acquire property...total hogwash. any property bought with funds from the CPA will be spent as a result of the reccomendations of the Town committee created by the town to do just that and not until the Town Meeting approves the expenditure will any monies be spent....PERIOD..


Last edited by Dave on Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:51 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Merged to existing topic)
avatar
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post on Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:37 am  Dave
Hogwash lol!

Been a long time since I have heard that phrase...
avatar
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post on Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:01 pm  mkreyssig
I for one am sick of being nickeled and dimed for things like this. 29$ here....44$ there....it all adds up...plus the amount that your property taxes already go up every year.
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post on Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:56 pm  seek2mend
Mr. Rice,
You are either being mislead, misleading or one of us is wrong.

I posted at the original Seekonktalk unmoderated the wording of MGL Chapter 44b section 5e. It is post #10250.

I know many townspeople do not like to get their hands dirty at that yahoo group. If you are one of them, the information is readily available at the Mass.gov.
I did notice at the website set up by the Community Preservation Coalition, they list section 5g as the section that deals with eminent domain. Low and behold, there is no 5g.
I will put this "hogwash" to rest when someone can interpret to my satisfaction, in plain English, what Chapter 44b section 5e means.
avatar
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post on Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:07 pm  mkreyssig
It's Section 3 paragraph E in the CPA text:

(e) For the purposes of community preservation and upon the recommendation of the community preservation committee, a city or town may take by eminent domain under chapter 79, the fee or any lesser interest in real property or waters located in such city or town if such taking has first been approved by a two-thirds vote of the legislative body. Upon a like recommendation and vote, a city or town may expend monies in the Community Preservation Fund, if any, for the purpose of paying, in whole or in part, any damages for which a city or town may be liable by reason of a taking for the purposes of community preservation.

That just means that CPA funds can be used on land that the Town Decides it is going to take via Eminent Domain. The laws regulating eminate domain do not change and would still require a 2/3 vote by Town Meeting. It also sounds like they can use the money to pay the person(s) they are taking the land from...since technically they are not buying the land, they are taking the the land and would be reimbursing the landowers for their "loss"

I'm not for teh CPA, but I do not think the eminate domain aurgument is quite valid, but more of a scare tactic...which I oppose being used by either side. The legitimate arguments from both sides should be sufficient to make an educated decision.
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post on Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:08 pm  seek2mend
I disagree, Mike . I interpret this section to mean that if the CPA committee makes a recommendation to Town Meeting to purchase a property, (or a portion of said property) for community preservation, a 2/3rd's vote of the 150 or so regulars could seal the fate of a taxpaying citizen. Or at the very least, make their life a living hell.

I would think a group of like minded citizens could even petition a Town Meeting with the sole purpose of taking someones property for one of the uses allowed by the CPA.

This is not a scare tactic. I am simply taking what I read and making an interpretation with my limited knowledge of the law. Hopefully, Mr Rice will give his interpretation. Maybe he could elaborate on "hogwash".
avatar
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post on Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:21 pm  Dave
Quote :
if such taking has first been approved by a two-thirds vote of the legislative body

I see you take that to mean the town meeting as the legislative body, but I agree that it would be nice to know what legislative body they are talking about- I mean is it the town legislative branch, the state? I would imagine if it a local decision then it would be put to ballot?

Here is the current legislation known as Chapter 79;

MGL Chapter 79

Found this document that may shed some light;

Eminent Domain in Massachusetts

Gives some background on the process...

Based on a cursory read that the CPA would not increase or decrease the implementation of Eminent Domain. Berman vs. Parker was the closest correlation that I found. It has to do with taking land to create recreational facilities because of a public need. If I read it correctly the government would have to prove the public need, if there are ample recreational facilities then the government is SOL


Last edited by Dave on Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:00 pm; edited 2 times in total
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post on Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:56 pm  seek2mend
I will go to the links and info you provide when I get a chance. But I believe the legislative branch is Seekonk is the Town Meeting. Perhaps Mrs Parker could ask Mr Parker to shed some light on this matter.

Mike K seems to perceive this purely as a financial issue. And as important as the cost factor is, I am far more concerned about the implications once we sign on.

When we discussed this last year at the taboo site, I discovered that Rep D'amico pushed through an Act that allowed Rehoboth to put money aside specifically for agricultural and open space use. No new tax was required.
avatar
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post on Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:15 pm  Dave
This should answer who the legislator is;

Quote :
Chapter 79: Section 2. Officials authorized to exercise eminent domain


Section 2. Where no other provision is made by law, a taking of land by eminent domain by or on behalf of the commonwealth shall be made by the governor and council, a taking by or on behalf of a county by the county commissioners of such county, a taking by or on behalf of a city by the aldermen, a taking by or on behalf of a town by the selectmen, a taking by or on behalf of a district by its prudential committee and a taking by or on behalf of a private corporation by its board of directors.

So my read is that although the CPA would create a pool of money that could be used for purchases of property it would be the Selectmen who would invoke the use of eminent domain. Anything could happen but I see it as highly unlikely that the BOS would ever invoke that right for recreational use and that they have the right whether the CPA is passed or not.

My opinion on the CPA is I would prefer to see it funded through a percentage of each property sale rather than a tax the you pay for even if you do not move. I do think that preserving open space and the character of our town is important.
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post on Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:52 am  seek2mend
The Charter is available at the town website.

Article 2 section 1 states that "The legislative power of the Town shall be vested in the Town Meeting, open to all registered voters."

Article 4 further explains that "The Town Meeting shall possess and excercise all general and legislative powers of the town except as provided by general law or this charter."

Furthermore, Dave, what stands out most about the excerpt you posted is the first sentence. "Where no other provision is made by law....". Wouldn't you agree that by adopting the CPA, the town would be making such a provision?

Again, I am not a lawyer. That is why I believe it is important that the ordinary voter, like me, understands completely what he/she is voting for. For Mr Rice to dismiss anyone's questions as being "hogwash" should insult us all.
avatar
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post on Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:03 pm  mkreyssig
seek2mend wrote:

Furthermore, Dave, what stands out most about the excerpt you posted is the first sentence. "Where no other provision is made by law....". Wouldn't you agree that by adopting the CPA, the town would be making such a provision?

Seek....I believe that the "other provision" is the town charter which states that Town Meeting is the legislative body. I believe that would also fall under MGL Chaper 40 Section 14

Section 14. The aldermen of any city, except Boston, or the selectmen of a town may purchase, or take by eminent domain under chapter seventy-nine, any land, easement or right therein within the city or town not already appropriated to public use, for any municipal purpose for which the purchase or taking of land, easement or right therein is not otherwise authorized or directed by statute; but no land, easement or right therein shall be taken or purchased under this section unless the taking or purchase thereof has previously been authorized by the city council or by vote of the town, nor until an appropriation of money, to be raised by loan or otherwise, has been made for the purpose by a two thirds vote of the city council or by a two thirds vote of the town, and no lot of land shall be purchased for any municipal purpose by any city subject to this section for a price more than twenty-five per cent in excess of its average assessed valuation during the previous three years.

The words “municipal purpose”, as used in this section, shall include any such land, easement or right therein within the city or town, so purchased or taken by eminent domain for the purpose of conveying or granting the same to the commonwealth for the use of a regional community college.


I really think that the wording in the CPA is just to clarify that it can be used in cases of eminent domain, because again look at the wording "purchase, OR take by eminent domain"...which implies if eminent domain is being used, then the land is not being purchased, so the CPA money can be used to "reimburse" whoever used to own the land for the cost of the land....
avatar
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post on Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:08 pm  mkreyssig
but no land, easement or right therein shall be taken or purchased under this section unless the taking or purchase thereof has previously been authorized by the city council or by vote of the town, nor until an appropriation of money, to be raised by loan or otherwise, has been made for the purpose by a two thirds vote of the city council or by a two thirds vote of the town,

Also....this means the land cannot be taken until the money has been raised. So before Town Meeting can vote on that, it first has to vote on appropriating the CPA funds for the purpose of taking that land. The CPA committee only has the power to recomend what the money is used for...Town Meeting still dispurses the funds.

I'm done now. Let someone who supports argue the these details. lol!
CPA
Post on Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:57 pm  wlrice
seek2mend wrote:
Mr Rice,
Please correct me if I am wrong. I understand this act grants the legislative branch (Town meeting) the authority to initiate eminent domain. Could you elaborate? Thanks.

Hello...as you may have gleaned from other conversations here, the CPA does not grant eminent domain authority. If such action is taken by a town, it will provide funds to purchase the land as prescribed by the MGL, which is clear on this subject. Further, mention has been made that Community housing is "section 8". that term is often used to describe housing provided for families falling below 50% of the communities median income. CPA defines qualification as " income up to 100% of the median income". Section 8 has become a perjoative term used to indiicate projects and run down residences that reduce surroundinig property values. This simply is not the case with CPA supported affordable Community Housing. In fact, in several other towns utilizing CPA funds it has meant both the restoration of historic houses for better use by the community and conversion of unusable housing to something that benefits the community, both in affordablity and appearance. Let me re-iterate that the funds created by CPA may be used for creation of open space or recreationspace (passive or active), restoration of historic buildings or artifacts, and affordable housing. 10% must be allocated to each of these uses. the remainiing 70% is allocated by the town appointed 9 member committee towards projects that must be approved in town meeting. Funds may also be used to seed bonds and make payments on these bonds to purchase, for instance, could have been "firefly Golf course" ; could have been...cap the land fill,could have been ... create a library
park we're talking a lot of money that Seekonk does not have to do these things...all possible with CPA.
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post on Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:31 pm  tombenoit
You say "...we're talking a lot of money that Seekonk does not have to do these things...all possible with CPA". But ultimately, at least a portion of that money comes from adding a sur-tax on homeowners - correct?
avatar
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post on Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:52 pm  Dave
Quote :
Massachusetts has previously matched CPA funds above 50 percent, the state is only required to match 5 percent.

That was from the original news article Tom. Sheds some light on what financial advantage there is to participating. I think it would be far more attractive if the 50% figure was the one required.

Bill I am all for open space preservation but can you elaborate on these figures and what your committee feels will be raised through the increase on the town side?
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post on Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:05 am  seek2mend
I, too, would like to preserve open space. But since this is not the sole purpose of this act, I can't support it.

Having said that, I believe the business community will also be required to pay the surcharge. Is this correct, Mr Rice? I think the rate for commercial property is more than double that of residential. Since the state and federal gov't seems to be gearing up to increase taxes and fees in other areas, would it be in Seekonks best interest to add to the burden of businesses?

Also, when I was researching the CPA last year, I found a study online that was done, I believe, by Harvard. I will try to locate it again. But if memory serves, it criticized the CPA, since it allocates state funds to wealthier communities. The report argued these funds would better serve the poorer, less fortunate communities.
avatar
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post on Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:54 am  mkreyssig
http://www.hks.harvard.edu/rappaport/downloads/cpa/cpa_final.pdf
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post on Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:03 am  seek2mend
That's it, Mike. Thanks!
I haven't read the whole report. I just read through the summary.

The report also touches on the evolution of the CPA. In the early 80's, a group of environmentalists and local officials were trying to get legislation passed to allow local communities to have the option to raise revenue to fund the purchase of open space. It was blocked by realtors, developers etc.

If the final product of the CPA was as described, (just open space preservation) I would probably be supportive. But it is what it is. So I will have to vote no.

Perhaps the Seekonk CPA group should research Rehoboth's agricultural and land preservation act. My understanding is this act allows Rehoboth's Town Meeting to put money aside for open or farmland. I think Rehoboth's act also allows the fund to accept money from other sources. It sounds like a combination of a stabilization fund and a taxation aid fund.
avatar
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post on Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:25 am  Dave
Here is the link for the CPA:

Community Preservation Act
Re: Community Preservation Act
Post   Sponsored content
 

Community Preservation Act

Back to top 

Page 1 of 2Go to page : 1, 2  Next

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Seekonk Talks :: Local Seekonk Topics-
Jump to:  

Free forum | © phpBB | Free forum support | Contact | Report an abuse | Forumotion.com