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    FUTURE CAPE COD

    Towns are set to receive millions in new tax revenue.

    Let's use it to invest in Cape Cod's future.

    Cape towns are poised to receive a once-in-a-generation revenue infusion due to the inclusion of short-term rentals in the new occupancy tax law. We share a belief that the future of Cape Cod depends heavily on town-directed infrastructure improvements and community investment for future economic stability and environmental improvement. Now is the perfect time for local governments to establish infrastructure banks and direct resources to long-term community investment.

     

    We've created a blueprint for towns to set aside new money to pay for infrastructure and related costs that taxpayers would have to foot the bill for otherwise; and to ensure each town is a sustainable place to live, work, and visit in the future.

    The Future Cape Cod Coalition members have come together to ask communities to adopt a model bylaw in 2019 creating a town-managed fund, which is controlled exclusively by each town for projects it chooses at its own discretion. It directs at least 50% of the local option rooms excise tax to Infrastructure and Community Investment Stabilization Fund for housing, wastewater, broadband, transportation, and competitive marketing of Cape Cod.

     

    Like the Community Preservation Act (CPA) fund in each town, these infrastructure banks can make long-term investments without relying on property taxes - saving Cape Codders money.

    We ask you to join us by signing the open letter so we don't miss this once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure new revenue is used for long-agreed-upon, yet chronically underfunded infrastructure and community investment that Cape Codders need to thrive, now and into the future.

    BASS HOLE BOARDWALK cr William DeSousa-M
     

    FUTURE CAPE COD

    Coalition Members

     

    ASSOCIATION TO PRESERVE CAPE COD (APCC)

    WHAT WE'RE ADVOCATING FOR

    Ensuring new tax revenue goes to long-term Cape Cod investments

    We're asking towns to direct at least 50% of the local option rooms excise tax to a town-managed fund, which is controlled exclusively by each town for projects it chooses at its own discretion for housing, wastewater, broadband, transportation, and competitive marketing of Cape Cod.

    Visitors who provide towns with this much-needed cash infusion are sensitive to their ability to access essential goods and services at a 21st century level, environmental quality, and the transportation experience. Without infrastructure investment and feeding the engine that brings visitors to Cape Cod, we cannot count on occupancy tax revenues to remain steady or grow.

     

    HOUSING NEEDS

    On the heels of a new report by Housing Assistance Corporation, Housing on Cape Cod: The High Cost of Doing Nothing, both residents and employers feel urgency faced with a housing crisis.


    Businesses face a double-hit. Increasingly steeper housing costs are causing employers to pay more, passing that cost onto consumers; and year-round customers to have less disposable income to spend in the local economy.


    The market has not produced the type of housing our workforce needs and we must invest in housing planning, re-zoning, and production to make that correction. Safe, attainable housing for all income levels and lifestyles is the key to our sustainability and could be the number one improvement to the health of our economy as a whole.

    CIARA ORLANDO at JOHN'D POND in MASHPEE

    WHY NOW?

    Making these long-term investments will dictate the economic viability and sustainability of Cape Cod and defer the use of property tax revenues for these needed projects - saving Cape Codders money.

    Setting aside the new revenue before it gets absorbed into general operating budgets and before the ability to invest strategically in long-term municipal needs is lost is critical. We have one opportunity to ensure new revenue is used for long-agreed-upon, yet chronically underfunded infrastructure and community investments that Cape Codders need to thrive, now and into the future. 

    Adoption of this bylaw and each town-managed fund, which is controlled exclusively by each town for projects it chooses at its own discretion, will achieve three goals:

    1. Create a sustainable source of investment in long-term needs that are traditionally underfunded and vital to the sustainability of each community; 

    2. Ensure that critical investments are addressed without burdening taxpayers with increased property taxes. This will simultaneously increase property values, improve the environment and quality of life, and produce economic opportunity for all; and

    3. Support towns' commercial and industrial property tax base with the potential to grow that base with activities that increase employment and businesses in each town.

     

    Cape Cod towns have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make long-term investments that will dictate the economic viability and sustainability of Cape Cod. But we need your voice.

    Add your name as an individual or representing an organization who shares our belief that the future of Cape Cod depends heavily on infrastructure improvements and community investment for future economic stability and environmental improvement.

    CALL, EMAIL, OR WRITE YOUR SELECTMEN/TOWN COUNCIL AND ASK THEM TO ADOPT THE FUTURE CAPE COD MODEL BYLAW.

    Use our email/script template to craft your message.

    Then contact your local officials. For best results, email all selectmen and copy the town administrator/manager. For Barnstable, use the form to contact your town councilor:

    SPEAK UP AT THE NEXT SELECTMEN/TOWN COUNCIL MEETING.

    The Selectmen/Town Council have public comment at every meeting. To find the schedule for your town, visit your town's website.
    Learn more about speaking at a public meeting.

     

    READ THE FUTURE CAPE COD COALITION STATEMENT & OPEN LETTER TO LOCAL OFFICIALS

    Meeting municipal infrastructure and community investment needs with rental tax revenue

    Cape Cod towns are poised to receive a once-in-a-generation revenue infusion due to the inclusion of short-term rentals in the new occupancy tax law. We have one opportunity to ensure new revenue is used for long-agreed-upon, yet chronically underfunded infrastructure and community investment that Cape Codders need to thrive, now and into the future.

     

    Our organizations, the Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC), Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORSⓇ (CCIAOR), and Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC), have come together because we share a belief that the future of Cape Cod depends heavily on infrastructure improvements and community investment for future economic stability and environmental improvement. Now is the perfect time for local government to establish infrastructure banks and direct resources to long-term community investment. We ask all 15 Cape towns to adopt a local bylaw this spring directing at least 50% of the local option rooms excise tax to a discrete stabilization fund, earmarking that revenue for housing, wastewater, broadband, transportation, and competitive marketing of Cape Cod. Making long-term investments will dictate the economic viability and sustainability of Cape Cod and using defer the use of property tax revenues for these needed projects, saving Cape Codders money.

     

    To do this, we have crafted a model bylaw to segregate and protect new revenue exclusively for such long-term investments. Setting aside the new revenue before it gets absorbed into general operating budgets and before the ability to invest strategically in long-term municipal needs is lost is critical. We therefore ask both Selectmen and the Barnstable Town Council to exercise their authority to put this model bylaw up for consideration in 2019.

     

    Adoption of this bylaw will achieve three goals:

    1. Create a sustainable source of investment in long-term needs that are traditionally underfunded and vital to the sustainability of each community;

    2. Ensure that critical investments are addressed without burdening taxpayers with increased property taxes. This will simultaneously increase property values, improve the environment and quality of life, and producing economic opportunity for all; and

    3. Support your commercial and industrial property tax base with the potential to grow that base with activities that increase employment and businesses in your town.

     

    Unless the new rental tax revenues are protected, residents will not see any property tax relief. Dedicating this new money to long-term spending provides towns with more budget predictability and the ability to avoid relying on a fluctuating revenue source.

     

    We must act now to ensure that year-round Cape Codders have access to housing, wastewater infrastructure is built swiftly, businesses and residents have access to high speed broadband, people can move around efficiently and reliably and we invest in the region’s tourism market share, in order to maintain this revenue stream.

     

    READ THE FUTURE CAPE COD COALITION MODEL BYLAW

    Article to direct a portion of rooms tax to stabilization for certain capital expenses


    To see if the Town will vote to accept Paragraph 4 of Chapter 40, Section 5B of the General Laws and dedicate, without further appropriation, into a special purpose Infrastructure and Community Investment Stabilization Fund, created herein for the purposes of meeting housing needs, implementation of the Town’s wastewater management program, broadband infrastructure, transportation improvement, and competitive marketing of Cape Cod , fifty percent of the local option rooms excise tax that the Town receives on the transfer of occupancy of a room in a bed and breakfast establishment, hotel, lodging house, short-term rental or motel, pursuant to its acceptance of  General Laws Chapter 64G, Section 3A, as amended by Chapter 337 of the Acts of 2018; provided that said dedication shall take effect beginning in Fiscal Year 2020 which begins on July 1, 2019; and provided  further that the Town may not revoke its acceptance of this Act for at least three fiscal years; or to take any other action relative thereto.


    Explanation: The Municipal Modernization Act in 2016 allows a Town which accepts G.L. c. 40, §5B, to dedicate not less than 25% of the local rooms excise tax to any stabilization fund. This would include any new revenue generated from short-term rentals. The Town must accept paragraph 4 of §5B at Town Meeting (or by a vote of the Town Council), establish the stabilization fund (if an appropriate one does not already exist), and designate the percentage of the room excise (not less than 25%) to be deposited in the stabilization fund.  No further appropriation into the fund is required to dedicate the funds. As with any appropriation from a stabilization fund, a two-thirds vote is required by Town Meeting (or Town Council).  Once a town accepts the statute, the Town cannot revoke its acceptance for at least three fiscal years. This article creates a special purpose stabilization fund for housing needs, wastewater management, broadband infrastructure, transportation improvement, and competitive marketing of Cape Cod and directs 50% of receipts to this fund to offset the cost of them on the property tax.

     

    FUTURE CAPE COD

    For press inquiries or more information, contact Stefanie Coxe.

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