The Massachusetts Community Preservation Act (CPA), M.G.L.,
Chapter 44B, became law in September 2000. The CPA allows
communities to raise monies through a surcharge of up to 3% of the
town's real estate tax levy with the option of excluding certain
properties from that surcharge. Communities that adopt the CPA
surcharge are eligible to receive up to 100% matching funds from an
independent state trust fund, the money in which comes from fees
imposed on state Registry of Deeds transactions. Currently, these
funds are transferred to communities annually and all funds are
kept in interest bearing accounts.
The residents of Goshen voted in the May 2007 Town Election to
adopt the CPA with exemption from the surcharge of "property owned
and occupied as a domicile by a person who would qualify for
low-income housing or low- or moderate-income senior housing in the
town." The CPA regulations require a town adopting the CPA to
select a Community Preservation Committee of five to nine members,
and adopt bylaws for that committee. The regulations require that
this local committee study and hold at least one public meeting on
the "needs, possibilities and resources" for community
preservation, and to consider proposed projects utilizing the funds
raised through the surcharge and the state match ("the CPA funds").
Those applications for proposed uses of the CPA funds that are
recommended by the Committee are then presented to Town Meeting for
a recorded vote.