SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Residents in 5 different Western Massachusetts communities could soon be paying more money on their property taxes.
It’s called the Community Preservation Act and many communities here in Western Massachusetts have already put it in place. State guidelines allow for cities to add a surcharge onto resident’s property tax that can range up to 3%.
On November 8th, 5 different communities will vote on whether to pay more in property taxes.
Holyoke, Springfield, South Hadley, Palmer, and Pittsfield voters will decide if they want to add whats called a community preservation act.
It’s a surcharge onto your property tax that can only be used for parks and recreation, community housing, and historic preservation.
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While several communities are voting on this issue this election cycle, 161 communities have already put a community preservation fund in place.
“There aren’t adequate funds to do as much investments in these type of projects as we would like and so the CPA would allow the community to work with government officials to invest in those projects that are priorities for us,” said Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse.
In both Holyoke and Springfield, it would be a 1.5 percent surcharge on property tax. For a home valued at 134,000 in Springfield that would come out to roughly 10 dollars a year.
The city’s mayor is strongly against residents having to pay additional money on their property taxes for this fund.
“I just think it is an unwarranted and unjustified tax that’s put upon our residents by the city council and some community groups that are putting this forward. My administration has been more than in pursuing historic preservation events when it makes good sound fiscal sense, economic development sense and neighborhood sense,” said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.
The funds can’t be put towards the snow removal budget or similar funds. There are exemptions for this surcharge including low-income residents and low- to moderate- income seniors that would be exempt in Holyoke.