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Joint Report of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Board of Equalization and Assessment on the Forest Tax Laws (Sections 480 and 480A of the Real Property Tax Law)

December 1993


Table A1. Summary of public comments

Table A2. Summary of statements made by individuals

Summary of public comments
Comment Number of times made
Supports 480-a 35
Supports 480 15
Repeal 480 1
Merge 480 into 480-a 5
Supports State reimbursement of program cost 60
Favors "current use assessments" for forests 5
Favors a flat tax rate based on forest crop production potential 7
Desires streamlined administration 6
Wants reduced technical requirements 4
Expand for "stewardship management" 4
Concern over high forest tax (inferred in top 2) 6
DEC needs more staff 5
Needs high management standards 4
Had problem with DEC forester 1
Opposes mandated public access 7
Supports mandated public access 1
Opposes owner right to lease 2
Supports owner right to lease 3
Protect participants against eminent domain 1
Supports easements 1
Expand to protect open space 4
Add incentive for access 1
Require total property to commit 1
Penalties too severe 2
Penalties inadequate 1
Stumpage tax creates problems (480) 2
Need to increase stumpage tax 1
Need to ignore stumpage tax on small sales (not cost effective) 1
Stumpage tax and penalties should go to State 2
Lower acreage eligibility 2
Allow cooperatives to meet acreage eligibility 1
Ten years too long a commitment 1
Other than reimbursement; do not change other provisions 1
Reimbursement should be General Fund not Environmental 1
Protection Fund 1
Unfair to tax real property 1
State mandates should not be supported by property tax 2
Incentives should be statewide, not regional 1
Forest tax law should supersede local laws (ordinances) 1
Concern over need/cost of consultant forester 2
Concern over permits to manage 1
Too rigid presently 1
Assessors not qualified (primarily 480) 3
Assessors circumvent or abuse; raise taxes anyway 2
Assessors need to be able to deny 480 1
Does not like government control 1
Need forester oversight 1
Consider "in lieu of" payments 1
Return 480 to original assessment and freeze 1
Forestry is long term 1
Eliminate exemption because some timber is exported 1
Eliminate DEC hearings; replace with arbitration board 1
Base exemption on sliding scale of commitment 2
There is inequity between 480 & 480-a 1
Against all exemptions 1
Many don't understand/need better PR 2
Difficult for people to do work as they get old 1
Do not tax land; do not touch land; reduce human population 1
Consider consultant fee part of cost subtracted from calculating stumpage tax 1
Relate applications to local land use plans 1
Most laws are local option 1
All State land needs to be taxed 1
Learned of management through commitment, good 2


Summary of statements made by individuals
A.P. DeCarlo #16 W Supports reimbursement.
Supports price control.
Ackerman, David #53 H/W Supports reimbursement.
Adirondack North Country
A. DeFranco, Terry #50
H/W Supports reimbursement.
Streamline administration.
Adirondack Landowners Assoc. #45 F. Clark & Wm Hutchins H/W Supports reimbursement.
Reduce technical demands.
Protect against eminent domain.
Adirondack Council #54 Tim Burke H/W Supports forest industry.
Supports reimbursement.
Streamline administration while enforcing standards.
Opposed and concerned to present leasing.
Adirondack Mountain Club #24 H/W Supports current use taxation.
Supports reimbursement.
Concerned with leases & mineral extraction.
Enfold 480 into 480-a.
Preserve open space (added).
Added incentive for access.
Penalties inadequate.
Require total property commitment.
General fund source; not EPF.
Affuso, Dominic #28 W 480-a is a good program.
Altamont, Town of #47
Dean Lefebvre
H/W Supports 480/480-a.
Supports reimbursement.
Do not include access issue.
Asdal, Clifford #79 H Supports 480-a.
Supports reimbursement.
Assoc. for Protec. Adirondacks #4
David Gibson
H/W Provide more State tech. assistance.
Relax State approved plans.
Accommodate open space protection.
Need reimbursement.
Bellmont, Town of #22
Joanne Hannon
W Need reimbursement.
Present stumpage tax creates problems.
Bennet/Dyer #33 W DC needs staff.
Assessor raise tax in spite of 480-a.
Management requirement should be high standard.
Bennett, Martha #40 W Support reimbursement.
10 years too long a commitment.
Berkman, Jeff #96 H Supports reimbursement.
Bucker, Gerald #95
Sul. Co. Planning Board
H Supports 480-a.
Supports reimbursement.
Opposes public access.
Callicoon, Town #12
Bonnie Hubert
W Support reimbursement.
Canon, George #56 H Supports 480/480-a.
Opposes public access.
State mandates should not be supported by real property tax.
Catskill Landowners Assoc. #42
Gordon Coughlin
H/W Supports reimbursement.
Supports forest exemption.
Do not change other provisions.
Catskill Forest Assoc. #2
Richard Sloman
W Concern over rigidity.
Lower eligibility to 35 acres.
Stewardship management allowed.
Cooperatives to reach acreage eligibility.
Caza (sp?), Bruce #82
assessor Reg 5
H Supports reimbursement.
Assessors not qualified for 480.
Phase out both for current use assessment with income capitalization,
lease income, add value for access, 6% increase to 10% and go to DEC.
Champion International #70
Alan Scouten
H Supports reimbursement.
Supports forest exemption.
Chenango, Co. Bd. Sup. #41 W Supports "comparable value."
Cibelli, Anthony #32 W Support 480-a.
Concern over high taxes.
Cornell University #44
Michael Joseph
W Supports current use assessment.
Supports reimbursement.
Mechanism to reflect market value changes.
County Clerk Office
Cook, George #87
H Supports reimbursement.
Deerpark, Town Assessor #36
Josephine Kent
H Supports reimbursement.
Deerpark Councilman
Decker, Wayne #88
H Support 480/480-a critical.
Support reimbursement.
Demeree, Francis #67 H/W Supports reimbursement.
No forced public access.
Desmond, Thomas #30 H/W Enfold 480 into 480-a
No cut prior.
Diamond, Irv #71 H Taxes too high.
Need standards (overcutting).
Domtar Industries #52
Tom Lucey
H/W Supports current use assessment.
Supports reimbursement.
Recognizes forestry is long term.
Recognizes economic value of productive forest.
Eldrid Central School #92
Lanny, Anthony
H Supports reimbursement.
Elias, George #37 W Eliminate 480/480-a because some timber is exported.
Empire State Forest Products Assoc. #20
Kevin King
H/W Support exemption and lower forest tax.
Support reimbursement.
Streamline administration.
Is effective, low cost program for open space.
Essex Co. Real Prop. Tax #48
Bernard Miller
H/W Supports reimbursement.
Supports exemption with Stumpage tax to state;
reimb.; ease admin. on assessor.
Fallsburg Cent. Sch. Dist. #13
John Semeniak
W Supports reimbursement.
Finch Pruyn Co., Inc. #21
R. Dziengeleski
W Need reimbursement.
Streamline to reduce LO cost.
No forced public access.(consider new law).
Need better public understanding.
Flynn, Sean #61 H 480-a produces timber and jobs.
Concern with owner cost of hiring forester.
Concern with permit problems (stream, etc)
Forestburgh, Town of #77
Lombardy, Daniel
H Supports reimbursement
Franklin Co Real Prop. Tax
Burpoe, Timothy #46
H/W Incentive should be statewide.
Supports Forest exemption (but 480 has been exploited)
DEC needs staff.
Supports reimbursement.
Supports silvicultural standards.
Frennete, James #49 H Supports open space incentives.
Leave leases alone.
Ginsberg, David #85 H Supports 480-a.
Supports reimbursement.
Suggests tightening to eliminate cutover before entry into 480-a.
Golovin, Ripley #66 H Needs 480-a.
Favors broader (stewardship mgt)
Having problem with DEC forester.
Gravinski, John #98 H Supports 480-a.
Relax standards for other values.
Supports reimbursement.
Gunther, Jacob #26 H/W Supports forest exemption.
Supports reimbursement.
Harp, Peter #27 H/W Unfair to tax real estate.
Highland, Town of #74
Boyer, Andrew
H Supports 480-a.
Supports reimbursement.
Hudson, Vern #5 W Relate tax to productivity. Supersede all other local laws & liabil.
Eliminate DEC hearings/ arbit. panel.
Allow recreation by permit & fee for LO.
Enfold 480 in 480-a.
Flat rate for managed forest with stumpage tax.
Innes, Peter #15 W Funding needed for DEC staff.
Base exemption on scale of commitment.
Statewide/ not regional incentives.
Current use as base.
International Paper #6
Joe Hanley
W Need reimburse.
Streamline administration.
Johnson, Dave #59 H NY expensive place to own land.
Supports 480-a.
Penalties too high.
Access owner controlled.
$1-3/Ac/yr tax.
Johnston, Charles #89
Bluestone & Lumber
H Support reimbursement.
DEC needs staff.
Supports exemption & easements.
Kernan, Henry #60 H Owning forest a financial disaster.
Public access a disaster.
Supports flat rate tax based on services needed.
Against all exemptions.
Inequity between 480 & 480-a.
Recommend expansion to include all forest.
Allow more than timber.
Allow manager to manage.
Koch, Margaret #18 W Disclose effects of current assessment. Enforce existing laws.
Guarantee real prop. tax relief.
Kozykowski, Bernard #43 W Supports reimbursement.
Laskin, Meyer #57 H Supports reimbursement.
Supports long term timber holding.
Concern over high tax on forest.
Liberty, Town of #76
Simons, Jack
H Supports reimbursement.
Keep it simple.
Long Lake, Town of #64
John Hosley
W Abolish 480.
Support reimbursement include past 10 yrs.
Lumberland, Town of #75
Hill, Tom
H Supports reimbursement.
Mackay, Alec #65 H Being treated fairly under 480.
Mallery Lumber Co. #35 W Need fair tax for forests.
Support reimbursement.
Support good stewardship standards.
Mamakating, Town of
Belcher, Dana #83
H Supports 480-a.
Supports reimbursement.
McCarthy, Amelia #93 H Take care of whole flock.
Support reimbursement.
Miaski, Herman & Edmond #39 W Objects to hiring consultant forester.
Old people may not be able to carry out plan.
Michael Gurda #11 W Support reimbursement.
Minisink V. Cen. Sch. Dist. #10
Harvey Hilburgh
W Support conservation.
Support reimbursement.
Mohn, William #68 H Supports 480-a.
Supports reimbursement.
Monticello School Bd. #78
Feller, Richard
H Supports reimbursement.
Monticello Cen. Sch. Dist. #3
Eileen Casey
Richard Feller
H/W Supports forest exemption.
Need reimbursement.
Neisloss, Stanley #29 W Supports 480-a
Northern Lmbr. Retail Assoc. #8
Wm Brunner
W Need reimburse.
Streamline administration.
NY Blue Line Council #7
Pieter Litchfield
W/H Support 480/480-a.
Needs reimbursement.
Streamline administration/ lower cost to Lo.
Stump. tax & penalties to State.
Allow leasing.
O'Neil, Chloe Ann #38 W Supports reimbursement.
Pancoe, Richard #72 H Supports 480-a
Percocco, Rick #62 H Participants do as conservation easement.
Many don't understand commitment.
Set sliding scale for increasing commitment.
Nervous about reduction of forester oversight.
Nervous about assessor manipulating.
Rehm, Deanne #63 H Questions "ad valorem" appropriate?
Enfold 480 into 480-a
Supports reimbursement.
Robinson, Aaron #97 H Depends on forest.
Supports 480-a as educational, cheap.
Supports reimbursement.
Rousseau, Diane #32 W Flat rate.
Assessor raised taxes in spite of 480-a.
Ryan, John #58 H Support reimbursement.
Saratoga Co. Real Prop. Tax #25
Eugene Corsale #25
W Allow assessor to remove 480 exempt.
Consider "in lieu of" payments.
Scovil, David #69 H Does not like gov't control.
Supports 480-a.
Public access is a real problem.
Leases seem to work.
Shirley, Frank #1 H/W Assessors do not understand 480.
Taxes too high on forest.
Need reimbursement.
Stewardship management allowed.
Enfold 480 into 480-a.
Do not reassess 480, return to original.
Shultz, Tim #90
H Supports reimbursements.
Supports 480-a.
Sterling Forest #80
Jeff Hutchinson
H Supports 480-a.
Supports reimbursement
Base tax on forest prod. potential
Suhr, Wesley #55
H/W Supports reimbursement Base Tax (flat rate) assessment on prod. pot.
Sullivan Co. Tax Dir. #73
Paul Burkhardt
H Supports reimbursement.
Sullivan Co. Bd of Sup. #14 W Supports reimbursement.
Sullivan Co. Chamber of Com. #84
Eugene Blabey
H Supports 480-a.
Supports reimbursement.
Sweet, Alan #19 W Immoral to tax land.
Avoid human contact with the land.
Reduce human population.
Unknown #91 H Supports reimbursement.
Ward Lumber #23
Rene' Germain
H/W Need reimbursement Streamline administration.
Warren, Margaret #81
LO & Reg. 3 FPB
H Supports both 480 & 480-a.
Supports reimbursement.
Wechsler, Benjamin #86 H Most abatements local option (mandate may be unlawful)
Needed SEQR hearing.
Learned mgt through commitment, would do now regardless.
Boundary lines should not require marking where obvious.
Stumpage value should deduct consultant fee;
and some small payments should be eliminated (not cost effective).
Town plans are not checked against 480-a applications.
Most severe penalty in country; but when DEC buys there is no penalty.
Sullivan Co. State Land does not pay tax.
Supports reimbursement.
Refer:"Preserve & Protect", E&A Rpt.,
Assembly & Jorling letters.
Westport, Town of
Macintyre, Donald #51
H Supports 480-a
Supports reimbursement.
WJ Cowee, Inc. #9
Barbara Davis
W No silviculture standard or restrictive plan.
Shift inequitable.
Wolf Lake Club #94
Steve Carr
H 480-a save property.
Supports 480-a
Supports reimbursement.
Learned management through 480-a.
Woodstock, Town of #34
Marie Baumgarten
W Remove assessor entirely from procedure.
Supports exemption.
Supports reimbursement.

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