Sunday, October 26, 2008
So the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has decided: the precedent setting case is now the law of the land (Massachusetts land that is): A community cannot use CPA funds to improve or rehabilitate land that was purchased prior to the creation of the CPA.
Like our Plum Brook Weeds, errrrrr, I mean Soccer fields--land purchased in 1974 for conservation/recreation and thirty years later expensively fine tuned into a more specific recreational pursuit, although still not ready for Prime Time.
While the court did not decide whether to grandfather projects already illegally completed (such as Plum Brook) they did clearly say: “We also have been urged to specify that our interpretation will be applied prospectively such that our ruling will have no effect on CPA appropriations already expended by municipalities throughout the Commonwealth. This issue has not been raised by the parties, and we reserve opinion on the matter until it is properly presented.”
Either way, The People’s Republic of Amherst was greedy enough to leverage CPA funds by taking out a large loan repaid over ten years.
So now you have to wonder: where is Amherst going to find the $40,000 annual loan payment over the next five or six years to retire the original $500,000 loan?
If Amherst cannot expend legally and properly the money it gets with the 1.5% CPA tax, how can we trust them with doubling that tax burden to 3%?
My original "I told you so"
The Boston Globe Reports (yeah, the Crusty Gazette will get around to it)