CPA Trust Fund to Receive $11.4 Million in Surplus Funding

November, 7, 2014: The state closed the books on FY14 this week, and due to last minute budget pressures, the state surplus was smaller than expected. According to the Commonwealth's Statutory Basis Financial Report (SBFR), the state's FY2014 budget surplus will be sufficient to transfer $11.4 million to the statewide CPA Trust Fund. In the report released this week, State Comptroller Martin J. Benison wrote:

"...the Commonwealth... completed the fiscal year with a consolidated net surplus of $22.8 million, sufficient to provide $11.4 million to the Massachusetts Life Sciences Investment Fund and $11.4 million to the Massachusetts Community Preservation Trust Fund."

To view the Commonwealth's SBFR for FY2014, click here.

The $11.4 million will be combined with the fees collected on transactions at the state's Registries of Deeds, the traditional source of revenue for the CPA Trust Fund, and the total amount will be distributed to CPA communities by 11/15.

Why won't CPA receive $25 million, as hoped for?

Although the state ended the last fiscal year on June 30th with a surplus in excess of $100 million, budget pressures for the current year began mounting between July and October. The Coalition met with legislative leaders and staff to strongly advocate for the full $25 million in surplus funds to be preserved for the CPA Trust Fund. To further illustrate the need, we sent a letter to Ways and Means outlining the decline in fees collected at the Registries of Deeds this year.

Ultimately however, the continued budget pressures led the legislature was to pass an $89 million FY14 supplemental spending bill on October 31st, resulting in the smaller-than-expected surplus.

The up and down nature of the state budget highlights the need for a more stable funding source to supplement the CPA Trust Fund. The Coalition's top priority is to work with the legislature and Governor-elect Baker to identify possible funding sources for a more permanent solution.

What percentage match will communities receive this year?

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) is calculating the match now and will release the Community Preservation Trust Fund distribution amounts for each CPA municipality by November 15th.

The Coalition will send another bulletin with the final distribution amounts as soon as they are available. With the 15th being on a Saturday, we hope to have news about the distribution by next Friday, 11/14.