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Last updated 6:57PM ET
August 17, 2018
WFCR Local News
WFCR Local News
CPA Property Taxes May Be Hurting Poorer Towns
(wfcr) - Researchers at Harvard University's Rappaport Institute have found that a Massachusetts law -the Community Preservation Act-is benefiting rich towns at the expense of poorer ones, including several in Western Massachusetts. the CPA allows towns to enact a property tax surcharge -with voter approval- and use that money on affordable housing, open space, or historic preservation. The state then pays for half of those projects using a trust fund it raises from real estate fees across the state. But that means the towns that don't vote in favor of the surcharge still pay into the trust fund -they just don't get any of the matching funds back. Robin Sherman is a report author.

Sherman says the researchers still support the law in principle, but they'd like state legislators to amend it so that poorer towns can participate without raising property taxes. They'd also like the state to use a more competitive process when approving CPA projects.
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