Here are common rumors we've heard about CPA around town. Below each rumor we set the record straight.
RUMOR: No town has ever revoked or rescinded a CPA surcharged.
TRUTH: This is correct. In fact, the Lexington Capital Expenditures Committee recently
retracted its opposition to CPA. The board was largely comprised of the same
individuals who initially opposed CPA. After seeing CPA in practice, the group
admitted unanimously that CPA prevented calls for overrides and debt
exclusions and that CPA saved the town tens of thousands of dollars in interest
RUMOR: CPA is a disaster waiting to happen.
TRUTH: Instead of focusing on what CPA can offer to improve our community and fund
projects that get no money from the annual general funds, some people seek to
disparage CPA with misinformation. CPA relieves the stress on the town budget to
make this community a better place to live.
RUMOR: Our CPA contributions will go into a pool of state money.
TRUTH: Our Stoneham CPA dollars stay right here in Stoneham. State money comes to us to
augment local funding for CPA projects.
RUMOR: Towns must spend all their CPA money every year or lose it.
TRUTH: Town CPA money stays within the Town. CPA funds may be carried over from
year to year.
RUMOR: State matching money is unreliable.
TRUTH: The December DOR reports indicate that CPA revenues were 30% ahead of last
year’s pace. The legislature dedicated an additional $25,000,000 in funding last
year and expects to do the same this year.
RUMOR: You can only get state matching aid for the property tax surcharge.
TRUTH: CPA funds are no longer tied solely nor directly to property tax surcharges.
The minimum allowed property tax surcharge is 1%. A community can use
other funds from other sources up to an additional 2% of the property tax levy.
You can now get state matching funds by using money from other sources.
RUMOR: Town Meeting can increase the property tax surcharge.
TRUTH: Much has been blogged around Stoneham about this ridiculous claim. Town
Meeting can not raise property taxes. Only a town wide ballot election can do
so. CPA does not change the state law in this regard.
RUMOR: This 2% Stoneham blended feature of CPA is dangerous.
TRUTH: The 2% blended feature means that if a group does fundraising for a CPA
project, the state will match that fund raising amount. If the town gets
mitigation fees, and some of that money is used for a CPA project, the town
gets matching aid for the money put toward CPA. We are no longer solely
restricted to a property tax surcharge, we have options! Gifts, grants and town
meeting appropriations get matched by state aid. That is a good bang for your