State House News Transcript of CPA Senate Budget Debate

CREEM AMENDMENT #62 - Community preservation act update.

Sen. Creem said I rise in support, and I am pleased there is bipartisan support. I really want to say thank you to chairman Brewer. We have made a lot of changes, and the Community Preservation Coalition has worked hard to bring this before us. What we do today reduces local reliance on the local property tax. What we do today provides communities to exempt the first $100,000 of property value for CPAs. At one time the CPA was a 100 percent match. It has been so successful. This is a good time for CPA when the economy is bad. That money is there for open space, playgrounds. Unless we have more money it can't continue. The amendment puts $5 million into the CPA to increase what is there. We have a win-win. The House considered a transfer of $25 million, and the Senate has considered a $5 million right now. I could hope the agency would hope $5 million, plus $25. That would be the best of all possible worlds. I am pleased. She asked for a roll call vote. There was support.

Sen. Tarr said I do want to rise in support of this amendment. I knew the chairman had some extra tools in the Ways and Means mystery closet. Playgrounds have been placed outside the reach up until now. That change alone would be worth doing. One of the other changes also allows an exemption for the first $100,000 for a small business, making the CPA business friendly as well as resident friendly. We did find some dollars to attach to that. And that wasn't easy, I know that. That $5 million will go a long way. I am pleased to be part of the team that has worked on this.

Sen. Brewer said I am very happy that we were able to put $5 million into this account for community preservation. I wish it could more. We need to send the statement that we believe in this program. 147 communities utilize it. The quality of life in our towns have been enhanced.

Sen. DiDomenico said I want to thank the chairman of Ways and Means for his support. As the chairman of the Small Business and Development Committee, we did a tour and this was the biggest issue they spoke of. We had countless hours of testimony from people advocating on behalf of CPA.

Sen. Eldridge said I rise in support of this amendment. The updates to the community preservation act is extremely important. It has given the opportunity to build more affordable housing, protect open space. Community preservation act is an incredibly successful program. I do have to mention my predecessors in the Senate played a critical role in passing this legislation in the 1990s. I think there is an effort by many of us, the changes we are making with this update, it is going to make the community preservation update more effective to more communities. The $5 million in this amendment is a good start. Through the language changes in this amendment more communities will become CPA communities. The money is there to follow the intent. I hope you support this amendment, but I hope you continue to fight for a greater amount of funding.