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BOSTON-With a few days left to spare before the city goes to the polls, its mayor, Thomas M. Menino has thrown his support behind the Community Preservation Act, which would place a 2%surcharge on the city’s property tax to fund affordable housing and preserve historic sites and parks. The Act will be a question on this Tuesday’s ballot.”We have seen him many times and asked for his support,” Albert Rex, executive director of the Boston Preservation Alliance, tells GlobeSt.com. Rex is also a member of the Committee for a Better Boston, a coalition of local groups fighting to get the Act passed. “I think he felt there were a lot of advocates working on this and it was hard to turn down the $14 million state match.” It is estimated that the surcharge will raise $14 million, which in its first year, will be matched by state funds.As Rex notes, the decision was not an easy one for the mayor who has to balance all of his constituencies. The business community here has largely been opposed to the Act, insisting that now is not the time to put additional taxes on businesses struggling to cope with the recent downturn in the economy. It has been estimated that nearly 80% of the tax will be funded by businesses. According to Rex, the mayor said he would look for ways to relieve pressure on the business community, possibly by looking at ways to provide a linkage offset, the money that developers pay to the city when developing a project here. “We’re excited about the mayor coming through,” says Rex. “A lot of people trust the mayor.”

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