Despite the tough economic times and a state partner that has not shouldered its share of the burden, communities around the state continue to join a partnership aimed at fortifying local assets.
Nine more communities voted this year to increase local taxes to pay for affordable housing, historic preservation and open space investments, a clean sweep of the cities and towns considering joining the Community Preservation Act.
Framingham, Franklin, Greenfield, Hopedale, Lancaster, Lee, Milton, Shrewsbury and Whitman each adopted the CPA in Tuesday's elections, according to the Community Preservation Coalition, and did so "by a consistently wide margin."
Including those that approved the CPA on Tuesday, 186 of the state's 351 municipalities charge a property tax surcharge to preserve open space, renovate historic buildings and parks and to build new playgrounds and athletic fields.
The coalition celebrated going nine-for-nine in the elections and having the third-highest number of towns join the CPA in a single election, but the success of the CPA could be making it less beneficial to the cities and towns that adopt it.
The initial idea of the CPA was for the state to match 100% of what each participating municipality raised through its own property tax but as more communities adopted the CPA, each town's share of the pie has become smaller and the Department of Revenue estimated that fiscal year 2020's state match rate would be a record low of 11.5%, though lawmakers approved $20 million in supplemental funds.
DOR has estimated that the CPA Trust Fund balance would allow for a state match of 17.7% for fiscal year 2021.