Thursday, October 29, 2020

Voices of Franklin: Barry Kassler responds to James Gianotti Jr on the Community Preservation Act

I’d like to respond to the letter from James Gianotti, Jr. regarding the Community Preservation Act, or CPA, in Franklin.
First, Mr. Gianotti is right when he says that these are difficult times.  What he may not be aware of is that many CPA communities have used their CPA funds to create emergency housing assistance programs for people in their communities who have lost jobs due to the pandemic.  That would not have been possible without the CPA.
Mr. Gianotti states that the CPA would cost Franklin residents “thousands of dollars” each.  That’s off by a factor of at least ten.  The average homeowner in Franklin would pay $105 per year, or $26 per quarter.  There is nothing “hidden” here.  It will appear on tax bills on its own line, beginning next year.  Residents who are low-income, or who are moderate-income seniors, can apply for an exemption from the CPA tax.
Mr. Gianotti states that those of us who support Question 3 “consistently rely on the most optimistic estimate of how much funding the state will chip in. …This is probably going to be way off.”  In reality, the estimates of CPA revenue from the state have been conservative, and are realistic.  State CPA funding depends on money collected at the Registry of Deeds, and collections for this year have been consistent with pre-pandemic levels.
The CPA is a perfect way for a community to maintain and improve the quality of life for all of its residents.  Franklin is losing out on state funding which only goes to CPA communities.  We already pay into that fund, but get nothing back.  That will change when Franklin adopts the CPA.  Many of our neighboring towns have already done so, including Wrentham, Medway, Millis, Norfolk and Mendon.  In fact, over half of all Massachusetts cities and towns are now CPA communities.
I urge you to vote to adopt the CPA in Franklin by voting Yes on Question 3.
Barry Kassler

If you missed it, the Gianotti letter can be found here

If you have something to say, you can find the guidelines here

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