SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Election Forum

November 1, 2012

Letter: What the CPA is not

To the editor:

I am writing in response to Mr. Silverio’s letter in Monday’s paper, “Tired of taxes, tired of the CPA.” This letter is a great statement about what the Community Preservation Act is not.

The Community Preservation Act is not a tax to pay for roads and parking lots.

The Community Preservation Act is not a TIF and not a tax to pay developers.

The Community Preservation Act is not a nebulous tax proposal.

CPA is a piece of well-crafted state legislation that has been successfully implemented by 148 communities for more than a decade. The CPA law is clear about how funds are collected and spent, and the CPA law provides for a public process at every step along the way toward executing public projects in the three categories — open space, historic preservation and community housing.

CPA does not change zoning, permitting or public hearing requirements (in fact, CPA projects are subject to public input at both selection and approval stages).

CPA does not “open the door” to an escalating tax. The CPA surcharge — yes, it is a tax — cannot go up or down without another majority vote at a citywide election.

Mr. Silverio wants to only pay for the services he uses. I argue that he — and all of us — benefit from Beverly being a great place to live. Our home values, our local economy, our everyday well-being are directly tied to the quality of life we find here in Beverly. That service can be paid for through CPA.

Please vote yes on 4.

Wendy Pearl

Beverly

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