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CPA Will Be on Nov. 6 Ballot

Mayor announces success of five-day campaign after City Council voted against act last month.

An effort to put the Community Preservation Act on the Nov. 6 ballot has been successful, according to Mayor Kimberley Driscoll.

The Act, which would permit a property tax surcharge that could be used by the city for open space and other projects, according to the Salem News, was voted down last month by the City Council.

"This initiative was affirmatively voted on by the City Council in 2007, however it was ultimately rejected by the voters at the ballot box,"

In an effort to get the CPA issue on the November ballot, the Mayor and some residents started a five-day campaign to get at least 1,350 signatures (the required number), according to the Mayor's Facebook Page.

On Twitter Tuesday, Driscoll announced the effort to get the issue on the ballot was successful and invited supports to toast to the accomplishment: "CPA ballot bound in Salem as 1601 signatures certified today by City Clerk! Come celebrate this amazing 5 day feat on Fri-9/7, 6pm ," she tweeted.

On her Facebook, page Driscoll said she was "glad voters will have a chance to weigh in directly on this worthwhile tool to improve our community."

The issue was not without controversy. On the issue of the surcharge, Prevey "when you add it to every other increase, it becomes a crushing financial burden for so many people. The cumulative effect is truly a death by a thousand paper cuts; some people have the blood to withstand it, while others are quickly being bled dry."

What do you think about the CPA issue? Be sure to tell us in the comments.

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gene September 05, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Josh - to take your justification for your vote one step further, then when it comes time to vote the budget or set the tax rate then should that be placed on the ballot? What about Mayoral appointments? The fact is you have an obligation to the residents and taxpayers of the City. You have chosen to "excuse" your way around your vote, when it appears you are really a closet advocate of this tax.
windpower September 05, 2012 at 01:35 PM
And counciler ,would you tell us where the "matching funds" come from ? Would you direct us to the pro comments and rhetoric no really would you please . And define matching please . Ed
KlassySalem September 05, 2012 at 02:05 PM
I think he did, Ed. "The matching funds come from fees that are assessed at the Registry of Deeds for transactions along with money allocated from the state budget surplus." We pay those fees, already, and the money we pay goes other places, like Lexington and Cambridge. I wasn't in favor of the council putting this on the ballot. It seemed like if it was going to be on the ballot, it should come from a voter initiative to get it there, not a random request from Councilor Furey. Be careful what I wish for, I guess. There have been enough changes to the CPA law (making it much more useful in a dense community) since 2007 that I at least get where Josh is coming from. I'll also say, I asked him point blank, if the CPA had been instituted in 2007, and someone was proposing to put a repeal on the ballot, would he vote for that? His answer was that he definitely would vote to give voters that choice. I had a harder time finding fault with his position in light of that. Will I vote for it? I seriously doubt it. Us getting money from around the state is attractive, but for me to support it, I'd want to know ahead of time who those 9 people would be, and I'd need some sort of guarantee that the minimum 10% affordable housing money would be restricted to maintenance on existing city owned housing, and downpayment assistance for people purchasing homes. Enough section 8, already. Doubt we get that before November. Northcutt pushing hard for this scares me.
Fran Wilson September 05, 2012 at 02:05 PM
I'm thrilled my right to vote on this issue is protected!
Salem_Native September 05, 2012 at 02:29 PM
I think there needs to be more discussion citing examples of the kinds of CPA projects that would be funded from such a tax. Photo of Lappin Park is pictured above - is that the kind of thing we're talking about? If so, I'm in -- family and I visited there last week, and I was completely blown away by the new thick, lush, deep green grass that now occupies that space. Used to be a mud-filled ashtray. It's absolutely gorgeous now. I don't know if it will stay that way, and/or if the city installed proper irrigation to keep the grass watered & healthy, but as far as I'm concerned projects that clean up any of the blight and run-down parcels in the city is TOTALLY worth a few extra tax dollars.
windpower September 05, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Exactly ,fees and taxes .We should have access to those anyway .
KlassySalem September 05, 2012 at 02:47 PM
That is the type of project that CPA funds could be used for. Also, things like the work being done on city hall, replacing the roof, windows, repointing, etc. Upkeep and rehab of old town hall would fit as well. Rehabbing city parks, as well as buying open space would be CPA eligible. On the other hand, so would spending lots of money to buy, or build, big section 8 housing projects. At least 10% of the CPA funds collected need to be dedicated to affordable housing in some way, shape, or form. That can be used for stuff like maintenance on Rainbow Terrace or Pioneer Terrace, but would it be?
Aubry Bracco (Editor) September 05, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Please note the correction on the article regarding surcharge percent.
Matt September 05, 2012 at 04:47 PM
If this additional tax did not include the affordable housing requirement, I would vote for it. I would gladly pay an extra $30 or so a year if the money was going to parks, open space, historic preservation, etc. When is there going to be too much affordable housing in Salem? This is basic economics: more affordable housing requires more city services, which requires more taxes and more spending on said government services. But maybe that's the point of the CPA to begin with....
doc holliday September 05, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Again,taking care of the good for nothing's on welfare.
gene September 05, 2012 at 05:26 PM
The proponents of this tax are saying it will be an average of $30 per taxpayer, but the fact is that the assesssment could be much higher. A homeowner could end up up paying $50 or $60 more for each percent of the CPA. Also, when is the last time taxes went down? So today's $30 is tomorrow's $40 and next week's $80. NO NEW TAXES - THERE IS NO FREE RIDE!!!
moresalemtaxes September 06, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Gene, great point. What say you Josh? When was the last time the city voted to reduce property taxes? Why do our taxes keep going up and yet there is no accountability on results. Pathetic.
chester suchecki September 06, 2012 at 11:39 AM
pioneer terrace and rainbow terrace are salem houseing authority properties and get funded by renters ,state and federal money. it they look run down see the salem housing authority .
windpower September 06, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Still looking for the pro CPA comments
gene September 06, 2012 at 12:06 PM
other than gimme, gimme, gimme, more, more, more; what can they write?
SalemEats September 10, 2012 at 01:54 PM
What, we have a system in place that allows individuals a VOTE to choose to put their hard earned dollars toward "Open space", "Rehabilitation", "Maintenance" and “Support of community housing”???? Preposterous! Utterly preposterous!!! Gene, this is not a gimme, gimme, gimme. This is people choosing to put their money where they would like to see it spent. Sound more like a give to you, give to you, give to you – to me. Vote NO. That is your right, and your choice. I appreciate you have the opportunity to do so. Personally, I have read the entire document and am in full support of it. I WILL VOTE YES on Nov 6 because it is my right and my choice – and I put value on the environment and community in which I live. Josh, thank you for helping in allowing me, and everyone, the opportunity to vote on this.
Leo Jodoin September 10, 2012 at 03:28 PM
You can join !!Salem Now!! with Leo Jodoin LIVE! Tuesday September 11Th at 7:00pm, Leo and his guest will be talking about the CPA and like always the phone lines will be open, if you miss the LIVE! broadcast you can still see the reruns and go on line to satvonline.org and watch it on video on demand (vod), we hope you will join us!
john September 11, 2012 at 09:24 PM
This is a vote for a self imposed tax. It's crazy.I see the photo off the new grass in the square which was put down by a contractor and will be dirt in 2 years. No increases are trackable. A good example is the ramp fee at winter island,where is all that money? The fees for winter island and forest river,where is all that money? Maybe it went towards raises last year for department heads and others.NO WAY.
Brian September 12, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Antoine M. Boisvert September 12, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Gosh, Brian. I wasn't quite persuaded until I saw your Capital letters... Just kidding. I'm not persuaded at all. Glad to know that you think wanting funding things like open space, historic preservation, etc is a matter for fools. And I am perfectly capable of seeing that this is a tax, thanks. It just happens to be one I would be glad to pay.
Antoine M. Boisvert September 12, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Amen, Matt. Poor people are naturally inferior and don't deserve a place to live. Gene, there is something you said that I don't understand. "NO NEW TAXES" seems clear, and "NO FREE RIDE" seems clear. But I don't see how the two can possibly go together. Because taxes are how "the ride" (Roads, schools, police, fire, national defense, and untold other elements of our crumbling social infrastructure) gets paid for. You know that "Freedom isn't Free?" Bumper sticker? It's true, so quit whining and pay your taxes.
john September 12, 2012 at 07:06 PM
I guess with the new ruling on the transfer station,if it does pass,every dime would have to go to preserving that land and the mayor would have to stop holding a gun to the taxpayers heads.
gene September 12, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Antoine if you are so happy to pay this NEW tax, then you can pay mine.
Cwheels September 12, 2012 at 11:34 PM
If the city couldn't use this fund to purchase new or convert existing units into affordable housing then I would have less of a problem with it, I still wouldn't vote for it. Do you really trust that this money will go toward worthwhile projects that will benefit us? I don't, and now that this will be on the ballot I fully intend to talk about it with my tenants because I will be passing on the additional tax burden to them. After all they wanted everyone to have a stake in it. Why not give us a dedicated fund to donate to, overseen by trustworthy folks appointed by the city council or voted in by us. The Mayor need not apply! The board could identify public places, monuments and open spaces in Salem that need attention then raise and allocate funds. Give us something like that and I could see myself donating a lot more then the price of my daily coffee for a year. The last thing Salem needs is more fees, taxes and slush funds.
Chatsworth Osborne III September 12, 2012 at 11:59 PM
The CPA tax scheme is just a backdoor Prop 2 1/2 override. Just vote no to more taxes.
Brian October 15, 2012 at 03:21 PM
windpower October 15, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Antoine ; Why is it the the pro CPA people ALWAYS forget the low income part .?
Antoine M. Boisvert October 17, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Well actually, Windpower, if you look further up the page you will see that I have not forgotten it. Actually I am in favor of it. Since actually getting rid of poverty is probably an unrealistic goal, poor people need to be able to live somewhere. A lot of people here seem to be thinking, regarding low income housing: "Are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons?" Or isn't there a nearby city or town they could go to where everyone is poor? I guess I would expect that kind of attitude from the residents of some nearby suburbs; but seeing it from fellow Salem residents is disappointing.
Carolyn Costain November 13, 2012 at 03:55 PM
When a person brought the petition for this issue to my door, I specifically asked if it would cost the taxpayers more money , I was told a flat out "NO!" when I asked for the guy to explain it to me? He said he did not have time because he needed a lot of people to sign that day. I said "If you don't have time to explain it, than I don't have the time to sign it!" I didn't sign it but I believe a lot of people did sign it that day and that, "like I was told", it would not cost the taxpayers of this city, which was a bold face "lie" to get people to sign it. I think they should call every person on that petition and ask again if they knew it would cost the home owners through a property tax surcharge, would they have signed it at all? I believe people were mislead to sign that petition as I almost was with a bold face lie!
Carolyn Costain November 13, 2012 at 04:14 PM
The preservation and land use and open space in this city already has boards in place Its called the "historical commission and the planning board and the conservation commission! Its their job and what they are being paid for! Why do we need to burden tax payers to pay for another committee when we have 3 already? This is just another excuse to take money from the people to use not just for this issue but as they say "Other projects? " This city borrows from Peter to pay Paul for prior funded projects they spent the money on elsewhere! now they want to rob Paul and Peter to make up for their misuse of designated funds. This is a sneaky way to raise the taxes after our President swore that our property taxes would stay the same. "I think I will write a letter along with this issue and a Salem petition of my own and send it to Washington." Salem needs to utilizes the boards already in place to deal with the preservation issue! It's been their job all along to do this!


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