Holyoke could pay more in property taxes following election

Holyoke, Springfield, South Hadley, Palmer, and Pittsfield voters will decide to approve or reject a CPA November 8th

Frederick Harris School in Springfield, one of several polling locations.

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – If you live in one of 5 Western Massachusetts communities, there’s a chance you’ll be paying more in property taxes after this year’s election.

Holyoke, Springfield, South Hadley, Palmer, and Pittsfield voters will all decide November 8th whether to join 160 other communities that pay more in property taxes. In Holyoke, ballot Question 5 proposes a 1.5% surcharge on property tax.

The money will be pooled into a Community Preservation Act. Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse said it would be used for parks and recreation, community housing, and historic preservation. All projects using CPA money would need to be approved by a 5-person commission, and the city council.

Related: Community Preservation Act Ballot Question

The average homeowner would pay just $23 each year, while low-income residents and low- to moderate- income seniors would be exempt. If the city does approve of a CPA, Holyoke would generate more than $460,000 every year.

Lifetime Holyoke resident Delixa Colon said giving a tax-break to lower-income residents allows a CPA to exist without becoming too much of a burden. “I think that’s really good actually,” said Colon, “because there are some people struggling who would like to make the city better but can’t so I think it’s fair.”

Supporters like Mayor Morse said Holyoke could receive matching funds if the Community preservation act passes. Opponents argue they want to keep their money in their own pockets.

On the ballot, a “yes” vote would approve the tax increase. If passed, it would take effect July 1st 2017.

Click here to calculate exactly how much extra you’d be paying in taxes if the act passes.