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The Massachusetts Community Preservation Act Datafiles

Who Benefits, Who Pays

July 20, 2007
Robin Sherman (MPA 2007, Harvard Kennedy School) and David Luberoff (Executive Director, Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston)

While the Massachusetts Community Preservation Act (CPA) has generated more than $360 million for affordable housing, open space preservation, historic preservation, and recreation since its passage in 2000, it also has resulted in the transfer of tens of millions of dollars from residents of the state’s poorest cities and towns to its wealthiest communities, according to a new Rappaport Institute Working Paper. "The Massachusetts Community Preservation Act: Who Benefits, Who Pays?," written by Robin Sherman, who earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government this year, and David Luberoff, the Rappaport Institute’s executive director, also finds that a lack of standardized reporting requirements makes it difficult to precisely determine how communities spend CPA funds, and thus how effective and efficient the program has been. Sherman, the former town planner in Montague, received the Kennedy School's Taubman Urban Prize for a research paper that provided the basis for the new study.

The report's appendix, which contains CPA-related information and some demographic data for all of the state's 351 cities and towns is available in as both a pdf file and as a spreadsheet.

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