Provides a tax abatement of 10% for landowners allowing snowmobiling on such land; such abatement limited to those parcels crossed by a trail which is maintained by a county, city, town or village as a part of a system of trails and eligible for aid pursuant to the parks, recreation and historic preservation law.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the real property tax law, in relation to providing tax abatement for private landowners who allow snowmobiling on such land
PURPOSE: To maintain and expand the network of public snowmobile trails
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The Real Property Tax Law is amended by adding a new Section 497, which would provide a real property tax abatement of ten percent to private landowners who allow the public to snowmobile on their property. Such abatement is limited to the value of the parcel exclusive of structures or improvements, and is only for lands which are maintained as part of the State trail system. The State shall reimburse the cost of the abatement.
JUSTIFICATION: Snowmobiling has grown in popularity as a recreational activity in New York State, and is a significant contributor to our economy, supporting restaurants, lodging establishments, snowmobile dealerships, and repair and supply firms. According to a study commissioned by the New York State Snowmobile Association, snowmobiling contributed $238.1 million to the state economy during the 1996-97 winter season. An additional $118 million was spent by households and equipment dealers sold $117 million in merchandise. An estimate of indirect spending came to $476.2 million.
Central to this growth has been the development of a system of 8,000 miles of trails in New York which are open to the public. These trails cross public and private lands, and are maintained by a partnership of local clubs and government. The decline of open space due to development pressures, concerns over liability issues and other impacts on owners have made it difficult for the clubs which maintain trails to convince private property owners to keep lands available for snowmobiling. Permission to use such lands may be given out of a sense on the part of the owner that they are helping local businesses or neighbors, but otherwise nothing is received in return for providing an economic and recreational benefit to their communities. Currently there is no system or incentive by which a county could exempt some property taxes for landowners who open their property to snowmobiling.
This legislation would mitigate the current disincentive to landowners by offering certain property owners providing access to their land for recreational snowmobiling a tax abatement of ten percent. Such an incentive would ensure that valuable private property, needed for trails, would remain open and free to the public. By limiting the program to trails which are eligible for funding under the Snowmobile Trail Fund, it will encourage the development of free trails that are readily accessible. The program would benefit both the public and the State, as millions of dollars would be pumped into local economies and the State would receive monies from the State Sales Tax.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-2010-S.2916/A.687; 2007-2008: A.813; 2005-2006: A.155; 2003-2004: A.1505.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2859--A 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 2, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. DeFRANCISCO, GRIFFO, LARKIN, MAZIARZ, O'MARA, SEWARD, YOUNG -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Government -- recommitted to the Committee on Local Government in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the real property tax law, in relation to providing tax abatement for private landowners who allow snowmobiling on such land THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The real property tax law is amended by adding a new section 497 to read as follows: S 497. REAL PROPERTY TAX ABATEMENT FOR PRIVATE LANDOWNERS IN CERTAIN INSTANCES. 1. A REAL PROPERTY TAX ABATEMENT OF TEN PERCENT SHALL BE GRANTED TO PRIVATE LANDOWNERS WHO ALLOW THE PUBLIC TO SNOWMOBILE ON SUCH LAND. 2. THE LANDOWNER SHALL APPLY FOR THE TAX ABATEMENT AUTHORIZED BY SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION WITH THE TAX ASSESSOR'S OFFICE OF THE COUNTY IN WHICH SUCH LAND IS LOCATED. THE TAX ASSESSOR SHALL GRANT A TAX ABATEMENT OF TEN PERCENT TO A LANDOWNER PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION PROVIDED THAT SUCH ABATEMENT SHALL NOT APPLY TO THAT PORTION OF TAXES ASCRIBABLE TO STRUCTURES OR IMPROVEMENTS UPON THE SUBJECT PARCEL AND FURTHER PROVIDED THAT SUCH ABATEMENT SHALL BE LIMITED TO THOSE PARCELS CROSSED BY A TRAIL WHICH IS MAINTAINED BY A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR VILLAGE AS PART OF A SYSTEM OF TRAILS ELIGIBLE FOR STATE AID PURSUANT TO SECTION 27.17 OF THE PARKS, RECREATION AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION LAW. 3. THE STATE SHALL REIMBURSE A COUNTY FOR THE AMOUNT OF ABATEMENTS GRANTED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT NO FUNDS COLLECTED PURSUANT TO SECTION 21.07 OF THE PARKS, RECRE- ATION AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION LAW SHALL BE USED FOR SUCH PURPOSE. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01698-02-2