Mayor Walsh Endorses CPA Adoption for Boston

Mayor Walsh publicly endorses CPA Adoption for Boston in front of City Hall

April 28, 2016:  At a well-attended press conference held outside Boston City Hall, local proponents of CPA adoption in Boston gained a new ally in their efforts, as Mayor Marty Walsh officially endorsed the Community Preservation Act. In the weeks since the Boston City Council's public hearing to discuss whether to include CPA adoption on the upcoming November ballot, the Mayor had been quiet about his position on CPA. Yesterday however, Walsh let attendees know that he is now "all in." Walsh noted that CPA "offers a balanced and timely strategy for helping us build affordable housing, invest in our parks,and preserves Boston's historic and inclusive character." While Boston is currently experiencing a period of success and growth, Walsh went on to say that it is "fair and prudent to leverage our success... [while] minimizing the impact on taxpayers."

If CPA is advanced to the ballot in November by the City Council, Boston voters would have the opportunity to adopt CPA with a 1% CPA property tax surcharge, with exemptions for low-income homeowners and low-income & moderate-income senior homeowners, as well as exemptions for the first $100,000 of residential property value and the first $100,000 of commercial property value. The city estimates that the average cost to homeowners would be $28 a year if adopted. Local CPA revenues generated by this surcharge, along with annual state matching funds, would be used to fund affordable housing development, historic preservation projects, public parks, and other recreation sites throughout the city.

Boston City Council is expected to make a decision regarding the ballot measure during the first week of May, adding to the many other communities across the state that are considering putting CPA on the ballot for this fall. The last time Boston attempted to adopt CPA was in 2001, shortly after the program began. City residents voted against the 2% surcharge over a decade ago, but with a lower surcharge proposed, a groundswell of local supporters, and the mayor's endorsement, it's looking likely that Boston will have another chance at passing CPA.

Further Resources: