Mission: The Community Preservation Committee enacts the regulations of the Community Preservation Act (MGL Chapter 44B), which allows communities in Massachusetts to place a surcharge of up to 3% on property taxes (Plymouth residents adopted the statute at only 1.5% to make it affordable). These funds are matched by the State with proceeds from the Registry of Deeds. The Act mandates that a committee be formed to oversee these funds and create an application procedure to determine which applications for funding will be brought to Town Meeting for approval. A minimum of 10% of the funds must be allocated to affordable housing, 10% to historic preservation and 10% to land conservation. An additional 5% can be set aside each year for administrative costs. The Plymouth CPC requests only 4% for its administrative activities, legal work, appraisals, signage and creating access to CPA acquisitions. The remaining 66 % may be allocated to one or more of the three general purposes in accordance with local priorities.
Plymouth voted to accept the Community Preservation Act (CPA) on May 11, 2002 with a 1.5% surcharge on property taxes (one half the amount allowed by the state). Yet even with the smaller taxpayer surcharge, the town has benefitted greatly from this legislation. Plymouth was one of the earliest towns to vote in the CPA, and the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) was able to take advantage of the 100% match from the state for the first five years. Last year an addendum was attached to the CPA legislation that allows towns to use CPA funding for renewal of already existing town owned parks and open spaces. The Plymouth CPC is careful in its deliberations with this potential use of funds to be sure that the Town does not depend on CPA funding for work that previously was in the DPW budget.