I'm a Somerville homeowner and enjoy living here. But sometimes homeownership can seem pretty expensive. It feels like an endless stream of bills, fees, assessments and taxes come month after month. For most people, once you pay the mortgage and do required maintenance there's just not much left over.
So when I first heard about a referendum to raise taxes for the Community Preservation Act, I thought, "Are you kidding me? More taxes?"
But I saw that the Mayor, the Board of Alderman and just about every other elected official from Somerville was backing it and so I decided to look into it.
It turns out 148 other Massachusetts communities are already benefiting from the Community Preservation Act that was passed in 2000. The state program is financed by recording fees charged by the Registries of Deeds.
Passing Question 4 would authorize the city to raise local funds with a 1.5 percent surcharge on our property tax bills creating a local dedicated Community Preservation Fund for open space preservation, preservation of historic resources, development of affordable housing, and the acquisition and development of outdoor recreational facilities.
In Somerville that could be as much as a million and a half dollars a year!
Now I see Question 4 as a bargain for Somerville. We double our money with the state match and it will only go for very specific – and much needed – community improvements. It will create local jobs and improve home values.
Patch readers can learn more about it by visiting www.investinsomerville.com.
I hope Somerville voters will vote "YES" on Question 4. Invest in Somerville: It's worth it!