Community Preservation Act

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On November 8, 2022, the voters of the City of Worcester approved the adoption of Question 5 - Worcester Community Preservation Act. This vote accepted Chapter 44B of the Massachusetts General Laws, Sections 3 to 7, known as the Community Preservation Act (CPA), which establishes a fund dedicated to the acquisition, creation, preservation and support of community housing, parks and recreational uses and historic buildings and resources. By the terms of this public vote, the CPA fund will be supported by a 1.5% surcharge on the annual property tax assessed on real estate in Worcester beginning in fiscal year 2024, and by annual distributions from a state trust fund created by the CPA. The specific allocation and use of these dollars for their stated purposes will be overseen by a new municipal board - the Community Preservation Committee - which will hold public meetings starting this year.

The first year of implementation of the surcharge is Fiscal Year 2024, which runs from July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024. This full FY24 obligation will be divided between two bills: the 3rd Quarter (issued December 29, 2023) and 4th Quarter (issued March 29, 2024) bills. Therefore, taxpayers will see the first CPA surcharge bill included in their property tax bill envelope received by mail in January 2024. In future fiscal years, this surcharge will be incorporated into each quarterly tax bill. For now, however, it is important that both bills (the real estate property tax bill and the Community Preservation Act surcharge) are paid in full as failure to pay the CPA results in the same interest, fees and other penalties as failure to pay property taxes.

Under the terms of the vote, the following will be exempt from the surcharge: (1) property owned and occupied as a domicile by any person who qualifies for low-income housing or low- or moderate-income senior housing; (2) $100,000 of the value of each taxable parcel of residential property; and (3) $100,000 of the value of each taxable parcel of class three - commercial property - and class four - industrial property.

CPA Surcharge Calculation

Disclaimer: Information displayed is an estimate only based on current tax rate and valuation factors. Exact figures/amounts will be noted in actual tax bills.

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  • January 1, 2024.

  • Yes.

    1. Property owned and occupied as a domicile by any person who qualifies for low-income housing or low- or moderate-income senior housing.
    2. $100,000 assessed value of each residential property.
    3. $100,000 assessed value of each commercial/industrial property.
    • Low- or moderate-income households will have to complete an annual application process through the Assessor’s Office. FY24 numbers are not yet available.
    • FY23 Maximum Income:
      • Low-Income (80% of Area Median Income):
        • 1-Person Household: $68,320; 2-Person Household: $78,080
      • Moderate-Income (Senior - 60 years of age or older) (100% of Area Median Income):
        • Person Household: $85,400; 2-Person Household: $97,600
    • Exemptions related to the assessed value of the property will be automatically applied.
    • To apply for the low-income or low/moderate-income senior housing, applications will be available on the Assessing Division website starting in January 2024.
    • RESIDENTIAL: While the CPA was not in effect in FY23, if it had been the average single family residential property valued at $342,240 would have owed $52.11.
    • COMMERCIAL: While the CPA was not in effect in FY23, if it had been the average commercial property valued at $1,076,846 would have owed $458.04.
    • A Community Preservation Committee is appointed that makes recommendations to the City Manager and City Council.
    • The Committee includes, by statute:
      • One member of the Conservation Commission
      • One member of the Historical Commission
      • One member of the Planning Board
      • One member of the Parks Commission
      • One member of the Worcester Housing Authority
      • Four members appointed by the City Manager


Contact Information

City Assessor
City Hall Room 209
455 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608

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Phone: 508-799-1098
Fax: 508-799-1021
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Worcester 311
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Phone: 311
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