The Community Preservation Act does not prohibit use of CPA funds for projects on privately- owned property.
However, the Anti-aid Amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution DOES prohibit the use of public funds to private entities for private purposes.
Public funds are generally prohibited from being used for private purposes. It is possible in some situations to grant of public money to private organizations, including CPA funds. Any expenditure of public funds must be used to advance a public purpose.
A variety of federal and state programs provide historic preservation grants to private non-profit organizations, but typically the public purpose is served by the acquisition of a historic preservation restriction.
CPA funds may be able to fund a project on private property, but only if the project is advancing a public purpose, such as the municipality acquiring a deed restriction, providing public access to the property where there was none before, or some other public benefit recommended by municipal counsel.
Show All Answers
The Community Preservation Act (CPA) was enacted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2000: Massachusetts General Law (MGL) Chapter 44B.
Communities vote to adopt the CPA and level of property surcharge that will create the base funding for CPA eligible projects in their city or town. Massachusetts annually matches funds collected by CPA cities and towns.
10% of the funding must be allocated each year (for spending or reserved for later spending) in the 3 areas:
Additionally, 5% can be set aside for administrative costs.
The remaining 65% can be allocated at the discretion of the Community Preservation Committee.
For further information, see https://www.communitypreservation.org/about
The CPC oversees CPA funds and administers the CPA application process. This includes soliciting, evaluating, and recommending to City Council projects for approval of CPA funding. It is responsible for upholding a process that is accessible, ethical, transparent, and represents the diverse geographic & demographic of Framingham.
The CPC is comprised of 9 members
For more information, see: https://www.communitypreservation.org/CPCs
On 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month.
Additionally, at least once per year (per CPA law), a Public Hearing is required. Residents are asked to provide feedback on the Community Preservation Plan (CPP) and potential projects.
CPC meetings are posted on Framingham’s Public Meeting Portal
There are two ways to join the Community Preservation Committee:
1) be appointed from one of the five boards that work with CPC, or;
2) be appointed as an at-large appointment CPC member by the City Council.
July 2024, all the at-large member positions will be functioning on 3-year terms.
The four at-Large members are prohibited from holding any other municipal position on a multiple-member body while on CPC and also cannot hold any position as a municipal officer while serving as a member of the CPC.
Not currently. CPC announcements will be posted to the City’s main social media sites as well as to the CPC website.
The City CPC website is the most comprehensive source of current Framingham CPC information and is updated on a regular basis.
There are three options for communicating with CPC:
Funding is provided to Framingham through a 1% surcharge on your Real Estate Taxes as well as a State Match from the Community Preservation Trust Fund as determined by the Department of Revenue.
For further information, see https://www.communitypreservation.org/funding
The 1% surcharge is based upon your real estate taxes (after a $100,000 exemption). For example:
It is shown on the tax bill as a separate item called “CPA Surcharge”.
Note: in 2022, the CPA surcharge will only appear on the 3rd and 4th quarter tax bills. Beginning August 2022, the CPA Surcharge will appear as 1/4 of your annual surcharge. Click Here to see a copy of a recent CPA Surcharge tax insert flyer.
The following are exempt from the surcharge:
The CPP is used to facilitate administration and implementation of the CPA. The CPP includes but is not limited to, highlighting the 4 areas eligible for CPA funding, detailing project criteria and application process, and outlining opportunities for potential projects. Links to the online application forms are also provided in the CPP. By CPA law, CPC does a yearly review and update of the CPP.
Projects are eligible for Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding according to the requirements described in the Massachusetts CPA legislation;
Click Here to see a helpful allowable use chart.
CPA funds can only be used on projects that are eligible according to CPA law.
There is no automatic awarding or granting of CPA funds to any City board.
City boards may initiate or be deeply involved in a CPA project, but all CPA project requests go thru the same submission & review process.
CPC members may not create or submit CPA projects.
CPC members are subject to the Framingham’s conflict of interest guidelines and may not create or submit CPA projects while serving on the committee.
Additionally, upon leaving CPC, former members must wait 1 year from resignation or end of term before they may present CPA project requests. However, during that 1 year they are permitted to aid others with design and preparation of a CPA projects.
CPC will make a public announcement when applications can be submitted. All projects will require a 2-step application process:
Both forms will be available as online webforms at the City Online Forms site
Yes, they will be available in English, Spanish and Portuguese
Paper versions of the forms will be available either at the office of the CPC or the City Clerk’s office.
* Note that preference will be given to applications submitted via interactive online forms.
Yes, however, it must be resubmitted via the submission process again.
Any time during the year.
Once per year. The CPC will publicly announce the period this is available.
City Council has the approving authority to fund the recommended projects by the CPC.
The City Council will make one of the following decisions: