Late yesterday, both the House and Senate voted to pass the FY20 state budget - and we are thrilled to report that it included the language to provide an annual $36 million increase to the CPA Trust Fund. The bill now awaits the signature of Governor Baker, who has 10 days to review and consider amendments to the bill.
The CPA sections that were included in the budget would increase the recording fees at the Registries of Deeds which provide revenue to the statewide CPA Trust Fund. This increase would raise an estimated $36 million in additional revenue for CPA and increase the CPA match for all 175 CPA communities to approximately 30% beginning in November of 2020.
In addition to the permanent increase to the CPA Trust Fund, the bill also included language that would provide up to $20 million in budget surplus funds for the November 2019 CPA Trust Fund distribution. Should a budget surplus be available, these funds would avoid a record-low disbursement this year.
What is the next step in the budget process?
Only a few steps remain as the FY20 budget now heads to Governor Baker's desk. The Governor has 10 days to sign, veto, or recommend changes to the budget before the final approval.
What was included in the FY20 Budget for CPA?
SECTION 29. 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 30. 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 81. 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 in the following order of precedence: (i) an amount not more than $10,000,000, to the Massachusetts Life Sciences Investment Fund established in section 6 of chapter 23I of the General Laws; and (ii) an amount not more than $20,000,000, to the Massachusetts Community Preservation Trust Fund established in section 9 of chapter 44B of the General Laws.
SECTION 105. 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 in sections 29 and 30. All documents or instruments received by the registers of deeds and assistant recorders that are postmarked prior to the effective date of said sections 29 and 30 shall be subject to the fee surcharge applicable under section 8 of chapter 44B of the General Laws that was in effect before that date.
SECTION 107. Sections 29 and 30 shall take effect on December 31, 2019.
- "Surplus & Fee Revenues to Feed CPA" - State House News Service
- "Municipal Leaders Want Piece of Surplus for CPA" - State House News Service
- "State to Boost Community Partnerships" - State House News Service
- "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