The House of Representatives showed strong support for the Community Preservation Act in their version of the FY2020 state budget. Under new Ways & Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz of Boston, the House budget included, for the first time ever, the long awaited permanent increase to the CPA Trust Fund. The House Committee on Ways & Means had included the increase in their version of the budget, and that language has now been ratified by the full House of Representatives.
The language calls for a $30 increase to most recording fees at the Registries of Deeds which would raise an estimated $36 million in additional revenue for the statewide CPA Trust Fund. That increase would more than double the base percentage match for all 175 CPA communities beginning in November of 2020. This is an encouraging milestone as we now move forward into the Senate Budget debate, scheduled to begin in mid-May.
The House recognized that the increase will not have any impact on the match for November of 2019. To help with that, the budget also authorized $10 million from the state's budget surplus, if a surplus is available, to be transferred to the CPA Trust Fund in time for the November 2019 distribution. The Senate will have to concur on this proposal, as well as the permanent increase for 2020 and beyond.
We are extremely grateful for the support of the Speaker of the House, Robert DeLeo, House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz, Majority Leader Ron Mariano, Minority Leader Brad Jones, CPA champion Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante, and the rest of the House members for passing the budget with the CPA increase included.
“Aaron Michlewitz, left, Chair of the Committee on House Ways and Means, and Speaker Robert DeLeo answer questions on the FY20 state budget.”
What is the next step in the budget process?
The budget will now progress into the Senate. The Senate Committee on Ways and Means examines both the Governor's proposal and the House proposal and releases its own recommendations for the annual budget. The House and Senate will then each appoint three members to a conference committee to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate proposals. The conference committee then reports a final compromise bill to the House and Senate for a final vote of acceptance in each branch.
The Coalition will be providing updates throughout this budget process.
What was included in the House Budget for CPA?
SECTION 12. Section 8 of chapter 44B of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 3, 8 and 23, the figure “20” and inserting in place thereof, in each instance, the following figure:- 50.
SECTION 13. Said section 8 of said chapter 44B, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in lines 10, 14 and 24, the figure “10” and inserting in place thereof, in each instance, the following figure:- 25.
SECTION 50A. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, prior to transferring the consolidated net surplus in the budgetary funds to the Commonwealth Stabilization Fund pursuant to section 5C of chapter 29 of the General Laws, the comptroller shall dispose of the consolidated net surplus in the budgetary funds for fiscal year 2019 as follows, and in the following order of precedence: (i) transfer 50 per cent of the surplus, not to exceed $10,000,000, to the Massachusetts Life Sciences Investment Fund established in section 6 of chapter 23I of the General Laws; and (ii) transfer 50 per cent of the surplus, not to exceed $10,000,000, to the Massachusetts Community Preservation Trust Fund established in section 9 of chapter 44B of the General Laws.
SECTION 57. Sections 12 and 13 shall take effect on December 31, 2019. The commissioner of revenue shall notify the registers of deeds, the assistant recorders and the joint committee on revenue of the new surcharge amounts established under sections 12 and 13. All documents or instruments received by the registers of deeds and assistant recorders that are postmarked prior to the effective date of said sections 12 and 13 shall be subject to the fee surcharge applicable to section 8 of chapter 44B of the General Laws that was in effect prior to that date.
- "State Should Pay Its Fair Share on CPA" - Boston Globe editorial endorsing the increase to CPA funding
- "Our View: Paying for Community Preservation" Gloucester Times editorial endorsing the increase to CPA funding
- "Our Opinion: Make successful CPA even more successful" - The Berkshire Eagle editorial endorsing the increase to CPA funding
- "Fee Hikes Eyed to Address State's Broken CPA Promise" - State House News Service
- "Popular Preservation Program Would Get $$$ Jolt Under House Plan" - State House News Service