Dot, Mattapan reps named to CPA working group

Five Bostonians will help select members of the Community Preservation Committee, the city council determined last week. They comprise a working group to assist the council’s Special Committee on the Community Preservation Act, tasked with nominating members to the main committee, which will determine how funds raised through the new tax surcharge are spent.

Three Dorchester residents — Cortina Vann, Shelly Goehring, and Jeffrey Gonyeau, all from the area between Codman Square, Codman Hill, and Ashmont — join Mattapan resident Beverly Johnson and Beacon Hill resident Curtis R. Kemeny on the working group. Their appointment was confirmed at a city council meeting on Oct. 4.

Boston passed the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in Nov. 2016 by a margin of 74 percent in favor. It established a one percent property tax surcharge to raise funding for historic preservation, open space, and affordable housing. The city will raise around $16 million annually through the CPA, officials say, an amount that will grow up to $4 million through state matching funds.

The ballot questions commits Boston to a state law, already adopted in place in 172 municipalities around the Commonwealth.

The one percent surcharge first appeared on property tax bills in July. Officials estimated that the average Boston homeowner would see an increase of about $24, though exemptions are built in for seniors, low-income households, and the first $100,000 of assessed residential value.

At least 10 percent of the funds must go to to housing, 10 percent to open spaces, and 10 percent to historic preservation. The remaining 70 percent can be allocated in any proportion to the three categories. Cambridge, for instance, dedicates the maximum 80 percent to affordable housing.

A nine-member city-appointed committee will review proposed uses for the funds and distribute them accordingly. The city council selects four members of the committee to serve with staggered terms.

The council’s Special Committee on the Community Preservation Act, with input from the local working group, will “nominate one person that has experience in development, business, finance, or any combination thereof; one person that has expertise in open space, affordable housing, historic preservation, or any combination thereof; and two persons that have a history of involvement in their local communities.”

A coalition of community groups that helped organize support for the ballot question will host a forum on Thurs., Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. at Franklin Park Clubhouse, Dorchester.

The meeting will focus on how CPA dollars are spent. For more info, visit yesbetterboston.org or call 617-822-9100.