Holyoke, Springfield and other cities approve Community Preservation Act

Community Preservation Act would include a surcharge on local property taxes.

BOSTON (WWLP) – Eleven cities and towns voted to adopt the Community Preservation Act on Tuesday, including three in western Massachusetts: Holyoke, Pittsfield and Springfield.

The Community Preservation Act adds a surcharge to existing property taxes. That money would be spent directly in the community to preserve open space, historic structures and to expand affordable housing.

The extra tax would is determined by a formula: ranging from one to three percent of the assessed value of your property, minus $100,000. Low income families and the elderly are exempt.

Under the Community Preservation Act signed into law by Governor Paul Cellucci in 2000, the state would match the towns dollar for dollar. Those funds have decreased over the years and could continue to shrink as more towns adopt the surcharge.

Five Massachusetts communities, including Palmer and South Hadley, rejected the measure.