Vote Yes on #5
1) It does great things for communities!
161 towns have already adopted the CPA and not a one has repealed it. It has proven successful in meeting community needs, including protecting what is special while attracting even more funding from additional sources year after year.
Waltham has restored buildings and monuments. Belmont renovated its swimming pool. Cambridge has led the way in creating affordable housing. Get inspired by hundreds of projects listed at communitypreservation.org.
2) Let’s stop giving our money away to other towns!
Watertown property owners and other taxpayers already pay toward the state CPA Trust Fund that matches the local surcharge. So far $2 million of our money hasgone to other communities that have joined the CPA such as Waltham, Belmont, Newton, Arlington, Cambridge, and Somerville. Our money should come back to us!
3) The CPA surcharge is progressive!
The owner of an average home in Watertown will see a property tax surcharge of $124 per year, or $10 per month. Owners of more expensive homes will pay more and owners of less expensive homes will pay less. Individuals with annual incomes under $51,150 ($68,670 for seniors) and couples or families with incomes under $58,450 ($78,480 for seniors) are completely exempt from the surcharge.
4) It will help protect what’s special about Watertown!
Faced with increasing density, a Yes on 5 will help us protect and expand open space and recreation, preserve our amazing history, and create affordable housing including rental assistance that will help to keep Watertown affordable for town employees, seniors, veterans, all of us.
5) It is participatory, collaborative, and transparent!
Anyone can work with the citizen-led committee and propose ideas. Final recommendations from this Watertown CPA committee are presented to the Town Council for approval after significant public input. While 10% of the funds would be designated to go to each of the three areas: open space/recreation, affordable housing and historic preservation, categories can be combined for mixed use projects and to partner with other organizations. This allows for even more creativity in problem solving. Required yearly public reports show taxpayers how every dollar is spent.
6) It’s good for the whole town, including the schools!
CPA money can be used for school playgrounds and playing fields, to preserve history so our kids can study right in their hometown, to make Watertown housing affordable for our teachers and other town employees. Newton uses some of their CPA funds to provide affordable housing for their city employees. Far from being in conflict with school funding, Yes on 5 will free up funds for school renovation and construction. Past expenditures for Victory Field, Filippello Park, and playgrounds at the schools themselves could have been covered by CPA funds. Current Filippello Park phase 2 still needs funding; Victory Field phase 2 needs to be designed and funded. These and other projects would no longer compete with schools for our limited town capital funds. Yes on 5 means we can start claiming the state CPA match now and invest in ways that will benefit the schools and all of us. When we have a school building plan, the fact that Watertown is funding other projects through the CPA and taking those expenditures off its capital budget will strengthen our case for future state funding and with the bond markets.
7) Why should we do this now with everything else going on in town?
There is an old adage, “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is today.” This is as true for investments as it is for trees. Yes on 5 is an investment in Watertown, a way to fully fund important initiatives and needs that often go overlooked or unfunded due to budget constraints. CPA is a time-tested joint venture with the state since 2000 that has proven successful and continues to grow in popularity. Let’s embrace the possibilities.
Watertown is changing fast. Community Preservation Act has inspired neighboring communities to address their needs in innovative ways year over year. It is time for Watertown to claim this benefit for all of us.
Vote Yes on 5!
Invest in Watertown