The Community Preservation Act (CPA), as enabled through Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 44B, was adopted by Ayer voters in April 2001. The Ayer CPA currently receives funds through a local property tax surcharge of 1% and a variable state match of the local receipts. In the first two years of the program, Ayer’s local property tax surcharge was 3% - it was reduced to 1% by ballot vote in Fiscal Year 2003. Ayer adopted the CPA surcharge with exemptions for low income households and low/moderate senior households. Since adoption, the Ayer CPA has raised over $2M and has funded over $1M in projects.
The law requires CPA to limit funding to four general types of projects: community housing, historic preservation, open space, and recreation, with 10% minimum funding requirements for each of the first three categories.
In order to appropriate CPA funds, Town meeting must act on a recommendation of the Community Preservation Committee, currently a seven-member committee with representatives appointed by various boards and commissions.