Flaherty Recommends Passage Of Key Community Preservation Act Funding

The Boston City Council’s Committee on Community Preservation recommends appropriation and reservation of $24,309,813.00 in project funding for FY20.

Boston City Councilor At-Large Michael F. Flaherty, Chair of the City Council’s Committee on the Community Preservation Act, recommended passage for the appropriation of funds for the operating costs of the City of Boston Preservation Committee (CPC) and the allocation of CPA revenues to the CPC for the 2020 fiscal year. The appropriation recommendation took place after a public hearing convened by Councilor Flaherty, who was joined by Boston City Councilor for District 4 Andrea Campbell (Vice-Chair of the Committee) and City Councilor for District 2 Ed Flynn. Testifying on behalf of the administration were Emme Handy (Chief Financial Officer for the City of Boston) and Christine Poff (Community Preservation Director for the City of Boston).

The Community Preservation Act, which was implemented in Boston after a ballot measure passed in November 2016 by 74% of the vote in the city, allows for the municipal application of a 1% surcharge on property taxes to be placed into a fund dedicated to parks and open space, affordable housing, and historic preservation. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts also provides matching funds to the City of Boston via revenue generated through the collection of Registries of Deeds filing fees.

The recommendations include the appropriation of administrative funds for the 2020 fiscal year consisting of $1,202,337.00 and the reservation of $24,309,813.00 in revenues for the CPA for further appropriations. These funds would be an addition to the $42,961,755.00 total project funding authorized to date for community preservation projects. These actions and appropriations are part of the first steps to set up for the next award round.

Councilor Flaherty’s and the Committee on the Community Preservation Act’s support of these actions and appropriations are part of ongoing statewide efforts to ensure the sustainability of the CPA, including the recently passed Amendment Three to the Community Preservation Act. Amendment Three allocates an additional estimated $36 million in funding to the statewide CPA fund through an increase of Registries of Deeds filing fees, which raise the charge on the recording of a document with the Registries from $20 to $50, and the fee on the filing of a municipal lien from $10 to $25. This amendment was supported by the City Council as per Councilors Flaherty’s and Campbell’s Resolution: “An Act to Sustain Community Preservation”.

“I believe that as Boston continues to experience unprecedented growth and development, the projects funded by the Community Preservation Act are crucial for the stabilization and betterment of our neighborhoods,” stated Councilor Flaherty. “I look forward to working with the CPC to further preserve and improve every part of our city.” The next round of applications for the City of Boston’s Community Preservation program is expected to take place by Fall.