In January, I explored the meaning of CPA's undefined term "create" in my article for the Community Preservation Coalition's CPA Update. Here is an excerpt:
It is helpful to periodically review the definition section of the Community Preservation Act (Section 2 of MGL c.44B), where many of the terms used in the CPA are defined, including “community housing,” “historic resources,” and “rehabilitation.” The definitions provide important information with regard to CPA eligibility. For example, it is within the definition of “rehabilitation” where we learn that bringing historic resources into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act is eligible for CPA funding.
However, there are two key terms that the CPA statute uses, but does not define: “create” and “support.” The uncertain meaning of these terms, particularly “create”, has led to confusion over the eligibility of projects in some communities. A few communities have asked the Department of Revenue (DOR) to provide guidance on their meaning and, in fact, the ambiguous meaning of “create” was a central part of the recent lawsuit in Newton over CPA recreational spending.
This article intends to shed light on the meaning of the term “create” and includes a summary of DOR’s responses to inquiries from Chilmark and Norfolk as well as the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling in Seideman vs. City of Newton.