Question 5 Passes in Boston

By Beth Treffeisen

The Community Preservation Act, that is designed to help Massachusetts cities and towns create affordable housing, preserve open space and develop outdoor recreation opportunities and rehabilitate historic sites passed yesterday in Boston.

“We are thrilled that Boston voters have voted yes for this opportunity to fund affordable housing, parks and open space, and historic preservation for out City,” wrote the Yes Better Boston Campaign in a statement. “We’re grateful for the leadership of Mayor Walsh, Councilors Michael Flaherty and Andrea Campbell, and elected officials across Boston who endorsed this mission.”

The Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds will be generated by a small surcharge on local property tax bills matched by a statewide trust fund to maximize their impact.

Over 170 individuals and organizations including The Friends of the Public Garden endorsed this effort.

“As one of the over 150 organizations that endorsed CPA and worked hard to pass it, the Friends is thrilled that its passage creates a new funding source for parks, affordable housing, and historic preservation,” said Liz Vizza the executive director of Friends of the Public Garden.

She continued, “Boston can be proud that Question 5 passed with one of the highest margins in the history of the CPA in Massachusetts. Good news for Boston parks!”

The Yes for a Better Boston Committee recommends a one percent property tax surcharge, with exemptions for low-income homeowners, low-and-moderate-income senior homeowners, and for the first $100,000 of residential and business’ property value.

“I am proud that the residents of Boston have voted to join 161 other cities and towns across the Commonwealth in approving the Community Preservation Act,” said Mayor Martin Walsh in a statement.

He continued, “The CPA will allow us to invest in making our neighborhoods more equitable and beautiful by unlocking tens of millions of dollars each year for affordable housing, while protecting open space and investing in historic preservation projects. I look forward to the increased community benefits that will be shared across the City of Boston as a result of the passage of this act.”

The typical Boston homeowner whose home is assessed at $500,000 will pay about $24 per year towards this investment, and in turn, the City will generate $20 million or more every year for CPA projects.

“This Coalition has grown to an impressive and committed group of organizations and individuals, to faith leaders and religious organizations, to labor unions, to community activists and civic organizations, to small businesses, to Ward Committees and elected officials,” wrote Yes Better Boston campaign in response to Tuesday night’s results.

It continued, “This broad-based support was reflective of Boston’s make-up and geography, and it is our intent to stay together following this election to advocate for equitable distribution of these vital funds.”

The Yes for a Better Boston campaign comprises a broad range of community-based organizations, unions, business leaders, faith leaders and others, united together that encouraged Bostonians to vote yes this election to pass the CPA.

Yes for a Better Boston Committee wrote, “We look forward to the next steps in this process and making a renewed investment in our neighborhoods through the Community Preservation Act.”

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