, Salem, MA

Local News

October 15, 2012

CPA debate heats up in Salem

Public forum scheduled for Wednesday to discuss law


The CPA was on the ballot in Salem in November 2007; it was defeated, 2,934 to 2,594.

In August, the City Council voted 6-5 against putting the CPA on the November ballot. Soon after, a group of residents collected the roughly 1,000 signatures needed to put it on the ballot via citizen’s petition.

The group that collected signatures has evolved into the Salem Community Preservation Alliance. The alliance held a fundraiser on Thursday, and so far, attendance has been good (20 or 30 people) at each of the neighborhood association meetings they’ve spoken at, Northcutt said.

The CPA allows cities and towns to add a property tax surcharge of up to 3 percent. Mayor Kim Driscoll has advocated for the CPA, saying the 1 percent tax surcharge would raise at least $400,000 annually in Salem.

More than 140 Massachusetts communities have adopted the Community Preservation Act since it was passed in 2000, including Peabody, Hamilton, Wenham, Middleton, Gloucester, Rockport and Newburyport.

Bethany Bray can be reached at and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.

SALEM CPA Public forum and panel debate Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Moose Lodge, 50 Grove St. Hosted by the Mack Park Neighborhood Association. The CPA will be on the Nov. 6 election ballot. Polls open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. More on the Salem Community Preservation Alliance at and

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