BOSTON-A new initiative designed to slow development in towns across the state has become effective. The Community Preservation Act was passed by the legislature last summer.

The state law provides dedicated property tax revenues for open space acquisition, historic preservation and affordable housing. Communities have the option of collecting up to a three percent surcharge on property tax bills to fund these three preservation initiatives. The law has to be adopted locally, but once it is, the community can decide how to distribute the money it collects.

The initiative comes with a $26 million incentive fund, which was created by increasing some transaction fees at the Registry of Deeds by $20. The state is encouraging towns to adopt the act by dividing its matching funds among participating communities. State officials anticipate that the first year grant could be 100% of the total a participating community raises.

Since the law stipulates that communities must adopt the tax surcharge only at the time of a regular state or local election, those communities governed by a town meeting must make their decisions this spring during regular local elections.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.