One Step Closer to $25 Million

October 21, 2013: The Massachusetts House of Representatives took action today on a bill to close the books on FY13, and there was good news for CPA. The state's FY13 "Consolidated Net Surplus" is estimated to be $82 million, which would be more than adequate to provide the $25 million in funding for the CPA Trust Fund. The bill passed the Senate, and will now move to the Governor's desk. Final word is still not expected until early November.

In explaining the budget bill, Representative Brian S. Demsey, chair of the House Committee Ways and Means, confirmed that the $25 million for community preservation would be included in the FY13 surplus. 

"The matter this afternoon is the final deficiency closing the books on the fiscal year 2013... We finished the fiscal year $627 million above benchmark. One of the most important, is approximately 88 percent of that total, or $556 million, has automatically been deposited into the rainy day account, including $79 million in one-time tax settlements. We finished the fiscal year with more than $1 billion in our stabilization account. That leaves us with a smaller amount to deal with some of the priorities that we embraced of the conference committee report in June. We look at the reversions from state agencies. That leaves roughly $82 million for what we agreed to be funded in the fiscal 2014 budget through the net surplus. That is $25 million in the Community Preservation Trust Fund; $19 million to Mass Life Science Investment fund; $10 million to the housing stabilization trust fund; $11.5 million for early education, and additional $7.5 million for the social innovation trust fund."

The additional funding for the CPA Trust Fund was one of the most exciting provisions of last year's CPA legislative amendments. If available, the plan is for the funding to be added to the CPA Trust Fund prior to this fall's distribution to communities.

Once the final determination on the surplus is made, the Department of Revenue (DOR) will calculate the amount that each CPA community will receive and then distribute those funds on or before November 15th. The distribution occurred on October 15th in past years, but the date was changed to allow time for the $25 million to be added to the trust fund prior to the distribution.

The Coalition is closely monitoring the budget surplus process, and we'll forward a news bulletin as soon as the information is announced.