172 Massachusetts municipalities will receive a distribution from the Community Preservation Act (CPA) Trust Fund, the City of Boston, one of the most recent adopters of CPA, will receive $3.6 million.
The CPA provides state and local funds to support affordable housing, open space, and historic preservation. State matching funds are derived from a $20 recording fee for certain real estate transactions. The fee structure and match rate formula have not changed in nearly two decades. As more communities adopt the CPA, each town’s share of the distribution becomes smaller.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR), this year’s distribution will be a 19% match for communities. Advocates were concerned that the match would have reached a record low of about 14%, but a $10 million infusion in a supplemental budget bill last month resulted in a slight increase from last year’s distribution.
Over the past few legislative sessions, advocates have supported efforts to raise the filing fee to ensure all CPA communities receive a state match of at least 50%. This past October, at a Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations convention, Governor Charlie Baker was quoted in support of an increase, “We would support that mechanism being increased, and I’m assuming it will probably be taken up again in the legislative session… we would support it and we would sign it.”