Conway Employs a Creative Idea to Increase Their CPA State Match

May 17, 2013 (updated May 19, 2014): Last week, Conway voters approved a surcharge increase from 1.5% to 3% at their spring ballot election. In addition to boosting their locally generated CPA revenue, the measure also fulfills a unique plan to dramatically increase Conway's distribution from the statewide CPA Trust Fund. Here's how it works: In spring of 2013, Conway's Town Meeting approved a warrant article to double their local CPA surcharge from 1.5% to 3%.  But to offset most of the impact of that increase, the town also voted to simultaneously add the CPA exemption for the first $100,000 of residential property value. Because Conway median home values are modest, officials expect the new configuration to result in only a small increase in the annual CPA surcharge -- about $16 on the average tax payer's bill.
Last week, voters ratified the Town Meeting decision by approving the surcharge increase and adoption of the first $100,000 exemption at the local elections. The changes will be implemented at the begining of fiscal year 2015 (July 1, 2014).

So what's the point? CPA communities with a 3% surcharge are eligible for rounds 2 and 3 of the state match. How much you get from those rounds depends on your decile ranking. Conway has a decile ranking of 3, which means they are relatively smaller and less affluent than other towns in the Commonwealth, qualifying them for a larger portion of these additional rounds. Whately and Leverett, 3% communities also in the third decile, enjoyed a 100% state match in both the fall of 2012 and 2013. There's no guarantee that Conway will get a 100% match, but any city or town with a 3% surcharge can expect a higher percentage match than they would have received with anything less than 3%. Want to learn more? Read our article on how the state match is allocated.

Conway voters join four other CPA communities that have successfully increased their surcharge.