I have posted earlier about a concerted effort on Beacon Hill to pass a small surcharge increase on mortgage fees that would literally guarantee 75% and above in funding for CPA.
As you know, as I often have to repeat (like the cable news anchors have to do) the same facts over and over again. CPA funds not only work aggressively in historic preservation, open spaces, recreational spaces and the area of affordable housing; its presence literally affects our city’s bond rating and increases our chances for grants and long term loans. Without it, we’d be doing the same tax hikes that Newbury is about to face.
And as recent as today’s newspaper, the stealing of mortgage transaction fees of which a small percentage goes to CPA matching funds has endangered the amounts that Newburyport will get. Mike Dissette has assured us all that the impact will be spread out over time but still it is daunting when local applications for funding far exceed the amount available every year. Plus the fact that state funding will be shrinking over the next few years, places CPA in a vital category for our city’s prosperity.
An Act to Sustain Community Preservation (SB 1841/HB 765) is the latest manifestation to make sure the matching funding will be assured in the future.
Because our state representatives have been pushing hard (They better be.), and a gathering storm of support is sweeping the state, a public hearing will be done at the State House on April 13th.
I could ask for you to attend at the State House and show a great number of bodies in support, but in fact, a much more powerful impact could be made by sending in a testimonial via snail mail or e-mail. The CPA website has a sample testimonial to give you some guidance. If you need some good understanding of the bill, here are the points. By sending in your support, you will literally help to make sure Newburyport has a CPA funding future.
You can send it in to Stephanie.Keller@mahouse.gov – she is collecting the e-mail testimonials (The CPA organization would love to be cc’d at Stephanie.Elson@communitypreservation.org) or you can mail it to:
Joint Committee on Community Development & Small Business
House Committee Chair Linda Dorcena Forry
Senate Committee Chair Sal DiDomenico
State House, Boston MA 02133
Also, you need to let Senator Baddour and Representative Costello know that you are taking the time to lend your support. Their e-mails respectively are Steven.Baddour@masenate.gov and Michael.Costello@mahouse.gov.
Politely but firmly demand they support this bill*.
* A small political lesson. There is a cynical group of politicians who believe that by cutting off aide that would benefit local citizens, communities and schools; they can get a large number of people demanding higher tax levies for the State. No one is going to ‘say it’ but it is true. Your calls, e-mails and letters will encourage our representatives to resist such pressure.