The CPA tax surcharge has been used to meet the objectives of the Community Preservation Act since it was adopted by the Town in 2001. The Community Preservation Fund supports preserving open space, expanding affordable housing, preserving our historic resources, and providing recreational opportunities. The State has matched the surcharge every year in varying amounts ranging from 100% to 27%. The amounts collected are first applied to the three objectives by setting aside 10% of the annual funds for each of the categories. The balance of the funds is uncommitted and may be
used to augment any of the three objectives as well as to fund certain recreational projects.
Wayland was one of the first communities to adopt the CPA with a tax surcharge of 1.5%. Voters recognized that this small contribution would help protect our remaining open space, expand affordable housing opportunities, and preserve our historic resources.
Over the course of each year, the Community Preservation Committee hears proposals from citizens and groups for the application of the CPA Fund and then recommends proposals to the Town to be voted upon at Town Meeting. Since the CPA has been in effect, the CPC has recommended 41 projects to the Town, all of which have been accepted at Town Meeting. Also, the Town has approved the CPC recommendations that $3.5 million be added to the open space reserve in addition to the annual amounts reserved for that purpose. Town Meeting continues to recognize the importance of building this reserve in order to be ready to protect significant open space parcels from development.
A list of the projects funded to date can be seen on the chart here.
The CPC will continue to support these projects and recommend them to the Town as long as it has adequate reserves in the CPA Fund to do so.
As of November 2016, 172 cities and towns in the Commonwealth have adopted the CPA, with 11 having just adopted it this year. That means that 49% of all municipalities in Massachusetts including Wayland recognize that a small contribution in the form of a tax surcharge allows its citizens to participate in protecting our remaining open space, ensuring a broad range of housing, and providing recreational options for our citizens. The CPA has been an invaluable tool in Wayland and the other communities where it has been adopted for preserving our local character, community resources, and quality of life.