The Community Preservation Act (CPA) MGL. c. 44B was enacted by the state to allow any Town in Massachusetts to adopt a property tax surcharge of up to 3%, the revenues from which, and from any matching State funds (up to 100%), could be appropriated to four target areas: affordable community housing, historic preservation, open space, and recreation projects.
In 2002, Wareham voters adopted a 3% property tax surcharge (with an initial $100,000 property value exclusion) under the Community Preservation Act. It should be noted that the CPA surcharge does not raise the tax rate for the community; it assesses a surcharge on property tax bills after they have been calculated based on the community’s current tax rate.
The Town appointed a seven-member Community Preservation Committee that makes recommendations to the Board of Selectmen and Town Meeting for the use of CPA funds.
CPA funds may be spent on qualifying projects in the four target areas. These funds cannot be used for any other purposes.