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The Community Preservation Act (CPA) was approved by Medford voters in November 2015. The act directs Medford to establish a Community Preservation Fund (CPF) to be used for open space protection, historic preservation, affordable housing and outdoor recreation purposes. CPA funds are raised through a small assessment on local property taxes; in Medford the charge will be 1.5%. Additionally, Medford will receive annual funds from the statewide Community Preservation Trust Fund.

The CPA funds will be overseen by a local Community Preservation Committee (CPC). A subcommittee of the Medford City Council is presently meeting to establish an enabling ordinance which will define the membership, scope and duties of the committee.

Beginning in fiscal year 2017, a CPA surcharge will appear on all Medford tax bills. The first quarter tax bills will be mailed on July 1, 2016.

Download ordinance (PDF)


Every taxpayer is entitled to an automatic $100,000 exemption on the assessed value of their property. Taxpayers DO NOT need to file exemptions forms for this exemption.

There is also an exemption for moderate and low income seniors and low income homeowners. TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THIS EXEMPTION TAXPAYERS MUST FILE EXEMPTION FORMS WITH THE ASSESSOR’S OFFICE.

If you believe you qualify for a low income or moderate to low income senior exemption and wish to avoid having the CPA surcharge appear on your 2017 first quarter bill you must file for an exemption with the Assessor’s Office no later than May 25, 2016. Those filing for exemptions after May 25, 2016 will not have a final determination on their exemption until after first quarter tax bills have been processed and the surcharge will appear on their first quarter tax bill.

To apply for an income based exemption, you may download the form here. Fill it out and submit it to the Medford Assessor’s Office along with the first two pages from your most recent tax return.

To learn more about the exemption eligibility, click here to download a PDF or click here to view online.

Medford CPA Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CPA?

The Community Preservation Act (CPA) was adopted by a ballot vote of Medford voters on November 3, 2015. This Act establishes a Community Preservation Fund (CPF) financed by a 1.5% property tax surcharge and matching revenues from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This new funding source can be used for historic preservation, community housing needs and recreation and conservation purposes. A Community Preservation Committee (CPC) will make recommendations to the city council on the use of these funds.

Who pays the surcharge?

The owners of taxable real property pay the CPA surcharge.

What is the average CPA surcharge?

The average annual CPA surcharge (based on 2016 assessments) will be as follows: single family $54.38, two-family $68.53, condo: $36.57.

How is the surcharge calculated?

The surcharge is calculated by reducing the assessed value of the property by $100,000 (first $100,000 of taxable value is exempt). The reduced value is taxed at the current tax rate ($11.19/$1000) and then multiplied by 1.5%. This formula yields the CPA surcharge which is then added to the FY tax bill.

Example: Property is assessed at $350,000. The annual tax bill is $3916.50 ($350,000 x $11.19/$1000). The 1.5% CPA surcharge is then added to this amount. First, the assessment is reduced to $250,000 (first $100,000 is exempt). The reduced assessment is then multiplied by the current tax rate. ($250,000 x $11.19/$1000 = $2797.50). This is the taxable base used to calculate the surcharge. ($2797.50 x 1.5% = $41.93)

This property would have a $3916.50 tax bill and a $41.93 CPA surcharge, resulting in an annual bill of $3958.43.

CPA Projection

Tax Calculation
Assessed value $800,000 (example)
Tax rate/$1000 (FY16) $11.19
Tax $8,952
CPA Calculation
Assessed value $800,000 (example)
Exemption -$100,000
CPA adjusted value $700,000
Tax rate/$1000 (FY16) $11.19
Tax $7,833
CPA rate 1.5%
CPA $117.50
Total tax + CPA $9,069.50

CPA Estimates

Assessed Value of Property Estimated CPA Charge (Year/Qtr)
$200,000 $16.80/$4.20
$250,000 $25.17/$6.29
$300,000 $33.57/$8.39
$325,000 $37.76/$9.44
$325,000 $37.76/$9.44
$350,000 $41.96/$10.49
$375,000 $46.15/$11.53
$400,000 $50.35/$12.59
$425,000 $54.55/$13.63
$450,000 $58.75/$14.68
$475,000 $62.94/$15.74
$500,000 $67.14/$16.79
$550,000 $75.53/$18.88
$600,000 $83.93/$20.98
$700,000 $100.71/$25.17
$800,000 $117.50/$29.37
$1,000,000 $151.07/$37.77
$1,500,000 $234.99/$58.75
$2,000,000 $318.92/$79.73

Are there exemptions?

Every residential owner is entitled to a $100,000 exemption. Moderate to low-income seniors and low-income residents are entitled to exemptions. Applications and income tables will be available in the Assessor’s office and the application can be downloaded here.

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