Question 5

Shall the City of Amesbury accept sections 3 to 7, inclusive 0f chapter 44B of the General Laws, as proposed by a petition signed by at least five percent of the registered voters of this city, a summary of which appears below?

Sections 3 to 7 of Chapter 44B of the General Laws of Massachusetts, also known as the Community Preservation Act (“Act”), establishes a dedicated funding source for the acquisition, creation and preservation of open space; acquisition, preservation, rehabilitation and restoration of historic resources; acquisition, creation, preservation, rehabilitation and restoration of land for recreational use; acquisition, creation, preservation and support of community housing; and rehabilitation or restoration of open space and community housing acquired or created as provided under said Act.

In Amesbury, the funding source for these community preservation purposes will be a surcharge of 1% on the annual tax levy on real property beginning in fiscal year 2018, and by annual distributions made by the state from a trust fund created by the Act.  Only communities that adopt the Act receive a distribution from this state trust fund.

If approved, the following will be exempt from the surcharge: 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 City of Amesbury, as defined in Section 2 of said Act; and $100,000 of the value of each taxable parcel of residential property.  An exemption for $100,000 of the value of each taxable parcel of class three, commercial property, and class four, industrial property, as defined in G.L. c.59, §2A, will apply in any fiscal year in which the City has a split tax rate.  A taxpayer receiving a regular property tax abatement or exemption will also receive a pro rata reduction in surcharge.

Upon acceptance by the voters, a Community Preservation Committee will be established by ordinance, composed of local residents, to study community preservation resources, possibilities and needs.  The City Council may appropriate Community Preservation Act funds upon recommendation from the Community Preservation Committee.  At least 10% of the funds for each fiscal year will be spent or reserved for later spending on each of the Act’s three community preservation purposes: (1) open space and recreation, (2) historic resources and (3) affordable housing.                 


Yes or No