Springfield Creates Advisory Committee to Consider CPA Adoption

June 1, 2016: Springfield has now added itself to the growing list of communities that are considering placing CPA adoption on the November ballot. On Tuesday, May 31st, Springfield City Council President Michael Fenton announced that he would be creating an advisory committee to consider including the Community Preservation Act as a ballot measure. "I stand behind CPA," Fenton declared during the press conference. "There are a lot of moving pieces to making this thing work, including the overall percentage of the levy, whether or not we make any exemptions and the like. Because of the complicated nature I have appointed a committee to advise me and the council." The advisory committee is planning to hold meetings in each of the city’s neighborhoods and gather more information on how to approach CPA adoption for the city.

Campanille TowerIf CPA is advanced to the ballot in November by the City Council, Springfield voters would have the opportunity to adopt CPA with a CPA property tax surcharge of up to 3%, with possible 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, the first $100,000 of commercial property value, or class three, commercial, and class four, industrial, properties.

Local CPA revenues generated by this surcharge, along with annual state matching funds, would be used to fund affordable housing development, historic preservation, public parks, and other recreation sites throughout the city, with Fenton specifically citing historic preservation as a focus for the advisory committee. The Campanile Clock Tower in Court Square was used as an example of the type of project Springfield could pursue with CPA funds. Described as "a black eye for the city," the century old tower has fallen into disrepair in recent years. The clock faces no longer show the correct time, black meshing covers large sections of the tower to prevent any falling debris, and the bells in the tower have gone unused for over 30 years.

As the summer progresses, we will be updating our coverage of the many communities considering CPA for the fall, including Springfield. Follow the links below for more information on Springfield's announcement.

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