Bill S787C-2011

Prohibits assessors from increasing the assessments of forestland based on the stumpage value of the trees thereon

Prohibits assessors from increasing the assessments of forestland based on the stumpage value of the trees thereon; establishes the forestland taxation task force to study and make recommendations on the assessment and taxation of privately owned forestlands.

Details

Actions

  • May 14, 2012: PRINT NUMBER 787C
  • May 14, 2012: AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • Dec 16, 2011: PRINT NUMBER 787B
  • Dec 16, 2011: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO FINANCE
  • Jun 6, 2011: REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • May 24, 2011: PRINT NUMBER 787A
  • May 24, 2011: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • Jan 5, 2011: REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S787C

TITLE OF BILL: An act to prohibit local assessors from increasing the assessed value of real property based on the stumpage value of the trees thereon and to establish the forestland taxation task force

PURPOSE: This bill prohibits local assessors from increasing the assessed value of real property based on the stumpage value of the trees thereon and establishes the forestland taxation task force.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This legislation prohibits local assessors from increasing the assessed value of real property based on the stumpage value of the trees thereon and establishes the forestland taxation task force. The 7 member task force shall examine, evaluate and make recommendations on assessment and taxation of private forest lands which are consistent with promoting sustainable forestry practices, encouraging private investment in working forests and maintaining open spaces. The task force shall issue a report with its recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature before April 30, 2014.

JUSTIFICATION: Private forest owners who steward their land for forest uses provide great value and social contributions to the state's goals to promote open space. Escalating land and timber values, in addition to increasing municipal budgets, have left private forest landowners facing significant assessment and property tax increases. Revaluation of forested parcels often results in assessment increases of 30-50% compounded by the tax rate increases associated with the annual growth of municipal budgets. These anticipated property tax increases leave the owners of forestland with an economically unsustainable resource that may have to be liquidated, resulting in loss of forested open spaces.

This legislation prohibits local assessors from increasing the assessed value of real property based on the stumpage value of the trees. It also establishes the forestland taxation task force which will look to ensure that present and future forestlands may be protected and enhanced as a viable segment of the state's economy and as an environmental resource. Specifically, the forestland taxation task force will address how to obtain equitable and consistent assessment of forest lands statewide.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011: S.787A Reported and Committed to Finance; A.5828 Referred to Real Property Taxation Committee 2009-10: S.2418A Referred to Local Government A.10315 Referred to Real Property Taxation Committee 2007-08: S.2775A Referred to Local Government 2006: S.7776A Referred to Local Government

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the State.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Effective immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 787--C 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sens. YOUNG, VALESKY -- (at request of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Government -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- reported favorably from said commit- tee and committed to the Committee on Finance -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- 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 commit- tee AN ACT to prohibit local assessors from increasing the assessed value of real property based on the stumpage value of the trees thereon and to establish the forestland taxation task force THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative findings. The legislature hereby finds and declares that in light of significant increases in real property taxes in many parts of the state, due to a variety of factors including but not limited to increases in market value of real property, growth in school and local spending, a declining commercial and industrial tax base, and assessment valuation practices which may not accurately reflect the actual value of timber, that now more than ever an increas- ing proportion of lands in the state devoted to the growth of forest crops are assessed at a level which renders the continued dedication to such use uneconomical. It is the purpose of this act to chart a path by which present and future forestlands may be protected and enhanced as a viable segment of the state's economy, and as an environmental resource. S 2. On and after January 1, 2013, no assessor of any local assessing unit shall increase that portion of the assessment of real property
which pertains to the stumpage value of trees on any parcel of privately owned real property to which a stumpage value is assigned on the effec- tive date of this act, as determined from the assessment from the imme- diately preceding assessment roll. S 3. Commencing with the 2013 assessment roll, an assessor of any local assessing unit shall assign a value for trees upon any parcel of real property which does not bear a stumpage value immediately prior to the effective date of this act. S 4. The provisions of sections two and three of this act shall not apply to state owned land. S 5. As used in this act, "stumpage value" shall mean that portion of privately owned forestland which is in addition to the bare land value and pertains to real property upon which the assessor has calculated a contributory value for the trees pursuant to guidelines for the valu- ation of forestlands issued by the commissioner of taxation and finance. S 6. A forestland taxation task force is hereby established to exam- ine, evaluate and make recommendations concerning the existing methods of assessing and taxing private forestlands, and alternative methods of assessing and taxing private forestlands which are consistent with promoting sustainable forestry practices, encouraging private investment in working forests and maintaining open space. S 7. The forestland taxation task force shall consist of 7 members to be appointed as follows: 2 shall be appointed by the temporary president of the senate, 2 shall be appointed by the speaker of the assembly, 1 shall be appointed by the minority leader of the senate, 1 shall be appointed by the minority leader of the assembly, and 1 shall be appointed by the governor. The members of the task force shall include a representative from each of the following: family forest operations, timber investment management organizations, farm woodlot owners, local governments, the forest products industry, private forest landowners and environmental organizations. Vacancies in the membership of the task force shall be filled in the manner provided for original appointments. S 8. The forestland taxation task force may meet within and without the state, shall hold public hearings and shall have all the powers of a legislative committee pursuant to the legislative law. To the maximum extent feasible, the members of the task force shall be entitled to request and receive, and shall utilize and be provided with such facili- ties, resources and data of any court, department, division, board, bureau, commission and agency of the state or any political subdivision thereof as it may reasonably request to properly carry out its powers and duties pursuant to this act. S 9. The members of the forestland taxation task force shall receive no compensation for their services, but shall be allowed their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties pursuant to this act. S 10. The forestland taxation task force shall report, to the governor and the legislature, its findings, conclusions and recommendations on or before April 30, 2014, and shall submit with its report such legislative proposals as it deems necessary to implement its recommendations. S 11. This act shall take effect immediately.

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