Legislation has been filed at the State House that would provide for approximately a 45% CPA Trust Fund distribution for all 175 CPA communities. "An Act to Preserve Community Preservation" was filed in the Senate by Senator Cynthia Stone Creem (S.1618) and in the House by Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (H.2463). The bills were assigned to the Joint Committee on Revenue in early March and a public hearing was held on June 18th. Language to increase the CPA Trust Fund distribution was also included in the pending FY20 state budget and is currently being considered by the conference committee.
Unless the legislature acts soon to stabilize the CPA Trust Fund, the state match is expected to fall close to single digits in 2019, preventing communities from funding vital community housing, recreation, historic, and open space projects. The Trust derives its revenue from fees collected at the Registries of Deeds across the state, but those fees have never been adjusted since CPA was signed into law by Governor Cellucci in 2000. The legislation calls for an increase to the Registry recording fees that would provide all current CPA communities with approximately a 45% first round distribution in 2020.
During four of the last six years, the legislature has approved short-term funding from the state's budget surplus to temporarily bolster the CPA Trust Fund. However, even when this funding has been available, the CPA Trust Fund distributions continues to reach record lows. Last November, the Trust Fund alone would have only been able to match 14% of what communities raised locally -- and even with the influx of $10 million in budget surplus funds, the base match was only increased to 19%. It's for this reason that the Coalition is advocating for a longterm solution -- an adjustment in the current funding source for the CPA Trust Fund.
In a pledge made late last year, Governor Baker signaled that he would sign legislation to increase the CPA Trust Fund should it reach his desk, and so the Coalition staff has worked hard to gather support for both of these bills at the State House. As of May 1st, there are 131 co-sponsors of the CPA legislation, in addition to our two sponsors. Below is a complete list of legislators that have co-sponsored the bill.
Sponsors: Senator Cynthia Stone Creem and Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante
Senate Co-Sponsors: Michael Barrett, Joseph Boncore, William Brownsberger, Harriette Chandler, Sonia Chang-Diaz, Nick Collins, Joanne Comerford, Brendan Crighton, Julian Andre Cyr, Sal DiDomenico, Diana DiZoglio, James Eldridge, Paul Feeney, Barry Finegold, Cindy Friedman, Anne Gobi, Patricia Jehlen, John F. Keenan, Edward Kennedy, Eric Lesser, Jason Lewis, Michael Moore, Patrick O'Connor, Marc Pacheco, Rebecca Rausch, Michael Rush, James Welch
House Co-Sponsors: James Arciero, Brian Ashe, Bruce Ayers, Ruth Balser, Christine Barber, John Barrett, Jennifer Benson, David Biele, Natalie Blais, Antonio Cabral, Peter Capano, Daniel Carey, Michelle Ciccolo, Mike Connolly, Edward Coppinger, William L. Crocker, Jr, Dan Cullinane, Mark Cusack, Joshua Cutler, Michael Day, Marjorie Decker, Angelo D'Emilia, Mindy Domb, Dan Donahue, Paul Donato, Shawn Dooley, William J. Driscoll Jr., Carolyn Dykema, Nika Elugardo, Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Dylan A. Fernandes, Michael Finn, Carole Fiola, William Galvin, Sean Garballey, Denise Garlick, Colleen Garry, Carmine Gentile, Thomas Golden, Carlos González, Kenneth Gordon, Tami Gouveia, Danielle Gregoire, Patricia Haddad, Stephan Hay, Jonathan Hecht, Natalie Higgins, Bradford Hill, Kate Hogan, Russell Holmes, Kevin Honan, Steven Howitt, Dan Hunt, Randy Hunt, Bradley Jones, Louis Kafka, Hannah Kane, Mary Keefe, Kay Khan, Kathleen LaNatra, John Lawn, Jack Lewis, Jay Livingstone, Adrian Madaro, Elizabeth Malia, Paul Mark, Paul McMurtry, Christina Minicucci, Liz Miranda, Leonard Mirra, David Muradian, Matthew Muratore, Brian Murray, Harold Naughton, Tram Nguyen, James O'Day, Jerald Parisella, Sarah Peake, Alice Peisch, Smitty Pignatelli, Elizabeth Poirier, Denise Provost, Angelo Puppolo, Jr., David Robertson, Maria Robinson, David Rogers, John Rogers, Dan Ryan, Lindsay Sabadosa, Jon Santiago, Paul Schmid, Alan Silvia, Todd Smola, Thomas Stanley, Jose Tosado, Paul Tucker, Chynah Tyler, Steven Ultrino, Aaron Vega, John Velis, Thomas Walsh, Timothy Whelan, Susannah Whipps, Bud Williams
- "An Act to Preserve Community Preservation"- Full text of the legislation, as filed by Senator Cynthia Stone Creem (S.1618) and Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (H.2463).
- "Should the state increase Registry of Deeds recording fees to boost revenues for the Community Preservation Act?" - Read Senator Creem's Guest Column on the CPA legislation in the Boston Globe
- "Baker Open to Fee Hike to Boost State CPA Match" - State House News