GOOD DEEDS: Spring is here – The Community Preservation Act

By William P. O’Donnell Norfolk County Register of Deeds

GOOD DEEDS: Spring is here – The Community Preservation Act

Dear Friends of the Registry, Registry Stakeholders, and Norfolk County Residents, Spring is here, and as many of us take this opportunity to enjoy the wonderful public spaces that the communities in Norfolk County have to offer, I wanted to take a moment and share with you some history and information about the Community Preservation Act that I think you might find interesting.

The Community Preservation Act (CPA) is the result of more than two decades of work to create legislation that would provide all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns with a tool to preserve their most unique natural, community, and physical infrastructures in the face of rapid expansion and development.

The CPA allows cities and towns to establish a Community Preservation Fund to preserve open space, historic preservation, affordable housing, and outdoor recreation. Additionally, the CPA establishes a statewide Community Preservation Trust Fund, which the Department of Revenue (DOR) oversees and which contributes annually to municipalities that have ratified the CPA.

The Community Preservation Act was signed into law on September 14, 2000. Today, with the addition of Amesbury, MA and Shirley, MA in 2023 there are 196 Massachusetts communities that have adopted this act. Of the 28 communities that make up Norfolk County, 19 communities have adopted the law since it was signed back in 2000. As of December 31, 2019, fees collected for the Community Preservation Act were increased to $50.00 for most land documents recorded and $25.00 for municipal lien certificates. The Registry of Deeds, at no additional cost to the Commonwealth or local communities, collects these revenues once a land document is recorded and forwards the monies to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue on a monthly basis. The funds forwarded to the Commonwealth are then redistributed back to the communities that have adopted the Community Preservation Act.

The fees for the CPA are set by the State Legislature on land documents recorded here at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds. The following chart provides an illustration of the funds generated by the CPA in your community based on recorded real estate filings for that community during the 2023 calendar year. View funds generated by the CPA by each Norfolk County community in 2023.

I hope you find this data informative and helpful in understanding the impact the Community Preservation Act has in allowing cities and towns to ensure that their unique characteristics and assets are preserved for years to come. In the meantime, if I can be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me at 781-461-6116 or by email at [email protected].
To all enjoy your Spring.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds will be closed on Thursday, July 4th in celebration of Independence Day. We are open Friday, July 5th.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is closed Today, July 4th in celebration of Independence Day. We are open Friday, July 5th.