CPA in Massachusetts

Signed into law by Governor Paul Cellucci and Lieutenant Governor Jane Swift on September 14, 2000, the Community Preservation Act (CPA) helps communities preserve open space and historic sites, create affordable housing, and develop outdoor recreational facilities. CPA also helps strengthen the state and local economies by expanding housing opportunities and construction jobs for the Commonwealth's workforce, and by supporting the tourism industry through preservation of the Commonwealth’s historic and natural resources.

Property taxes traditionally fund the day-to-day operating needs of safety, health, schools, roads, maintenance, and more. But until CPA was enacted, there was no steady funding source for preserving and improving a community's character and quality of life. The Community Preservation Act gives a community the funds needed to control its future.

In addition to enabling communities to raise funds locally for open space protection, historic preservation, affordable housing and outdoor recreation projects, the Massachusetts CPA law creates a Statewide Community Preservation Trust Fund which provides distributions each year to communities that have adopted CPA. The Trust Fund’s revenues are derived from fees collected at the Registry of Deeds and State budget surplus funds. So far, the state has distributed $506 million from the Trust Fund, but only to those communities who vote in the CPA.

To date, 172 municipalities in the state have adopted CPA including our neighbors in Arlington, Somerville, Cambridge, Lexington, Belmont, and Waltham. Map of communities that have adopted CPA

Additional Links

Community Preservation Act MGL c.44B
Enabling Legislation

Community Preservation Coalition
Further information about CPA communities, projects, and funding


Residents of Waltham supported preservation of Lyman Estate through CPA.

Residents of Waltham supported preservation of Lyman Estate through CPA.