senate Bill S3189A

Exempts certain old growth forests from taxation

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 11 / Feb / 2011
    • REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • 18 / May / 2011
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.772
  • 23 / May / 2011
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 24 / May / 2011
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 24 / Jun / 2011
    • COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • 19 / Jan / 2012
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • 19 / Jan / 2012
    • PRINT NUMBER 3189A
  • 23 / May / 2012
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.901
  • 30 / May / 2012
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 31 / May / 2012
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 21 / Jun / 2012
    • COMMITTED TO RULES

Summary

Exempts certain old growth forests from private property taxation.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A10386
Versions:
S3189
S3189A
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
Real Property Tax Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง480-a, RPT L

Votes

6
0
6
Aye
0
Nay
2
aye with reservations
0
absent
0
excused
0
abstained
show Local Government committee vote details

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3189A

TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the real property tax law, in relation to exempting
certain old-growth forests from taxation

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To encourage protection of privately-owned old growth forests in New
York.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 - adds a new subparagraph (iii) to paragraph (a) of subdivi-
sion 1 of section 480-a of the Real Property Tax Law to provide that an
"old growth" tract will be eligible for the exemption under this section
provided the management plan for the tract meets certain conditions.

Section 2 - subdivision 1 of 480-a is amended to re-letter paragraph (h)
as paragraph (i) and new paragraph (h) defines an "old growth eligible
tract" for the purposes of this section.

Section 3 - subdivision 5 of section 480-a is amended to re-letter para-
graph (d) as paragraph (e) and new paragraph (d) provides that no
cutting of forest crop shall be permitted in any approved old growth
forest eligible tract except to protect the old growth forest from inva-
sive species or disease.

Section 4 - subdivision 6 of section 480-a is amended to add a new para-
graph (e) to provide that no cutting of forest crop shall be permitted
in any approved old growth forest eligible tract except to protect the
old growth forest from invasive species or disease.

Section 5 - provides that this act shall take effect January 1, 2013 and
shall apply to taxable years beginning on and after such date.

JUSTIFICATION:
Although most of the primeval forests that once covered New York State,
and indeed the entire Northeast part of our country, were cleared many
years ago as settlers first moved west to develop farms and communities,
there still remain small vestiges of this original forest tucked away in
overlooked corners of our state. Most of these areas remain uncut
because the terrain where they are located was so challenging that
logging was impracticable and farming impossible.

Over the years, a few owners have continued to leave these woods essen-
tially untouched either through oversight or a desire to protect this
unique asset. Old growth forests within public lands across the state
were given protection under Chapter 533 of the Laws of 2008. However,
the old growth forest in private ownership across the state was not
addressed by this legislation. If these forests are allowed to be
destroyed, they are probably gone forever, and are certainly not
replaceable within our lifetimes, or the lifetimes of our children,

grandchildren and great-grandchildren. New York State has led the nation
in the protection of forests, beginning in 1895 with the Constitutional
protection of the Forest Preserve, and this bill will continue that
tradition.

Currently, Real Property Tax Law section 480-a offers property partial
property tax exemptions to forest lands under an approved forest manage-
ment plan that includes forest harvesting. This bill would expand this
section to afford this partial tax exemption to old growth forests, as
were defined in chapter 533 of the Laws of 2008, with an approved plan
of no harvesting except to protect the old growth forest from invasive
species or disease. Owners of old growth forests will no longer be
required to harvest their forests to receive a partial tax exemption,
and this will help and encourage them to preserve these irreplaceable
places.

It is important for all New Yorkers that we encourage preservation of
the old growth forests that remain so that generations to come can
appreciate what existed in our state before the advent of European
settlement.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
New bill. RPTL 480-a offers partial real property tax exemptions for
managed forest lands; Environmental Conservation Law Article 45 contains
definitions of old growth forest and restrictions related to public
lands.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None to State.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect January 1, 2013 and shall apply to taxable
years beginning on and after such date.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 3189--A

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 11, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  RANZENHOFER -- 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 exempting
  certain old-growth forests from taxation

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Subparagraph  (ii)  of  paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of
section 480-a of the real property tax law, as amended by chapter 396 of
the laws of 2008, is amended and a new subparagraph (iii)  is  added  to
read as follows:
  (ii)  participation  in a forest certification program (such as Forest
Stewardship  Council  certification,  Sustainable  Forestry  Initiative;
American  Tree  Farm Program, etc.) recognized in the regulations of the
department[.]; OR
  (III) AS TO AN "OLD-GROWTH"  ELIGIBLE  TRACT,  A  PLAN  THAT  INCLUDES
PROVISIONS  THAT THE OLD-GROWTH FOREST BE PROTECTED WITH MINIMUM MANAGE-
MENT OR DISTURBANCE THAT ONLY CONSIDERS  PASSIVE  RECREATIONAL  OPPORTU-
NITIES  WITH  NO  CONSTRUCTION  OR COMMERCIAL REMOVAL OF TREES. IN THOSE
PROVISIONS, THE  PROTECTION  OF  THE  OLD-GROWTH  FOREST  FROM  INVASIVE
SPECIES AND DISEASES MAY BE CONSIDERED.
  S 2. Paragraph (h) of subdivision 1 of section 480-a of the real prop-
erty  tax  law  is  relettered  paragraph (i) and a new paragraph (h) is
added to read as follows:
  (H) "OLD-GROWTH ELIGIBLE TRACT" SHALL MEAN A TRACT THAT CONFORMS  WITH
THE  DEFINITION  OF  "OLD-GROWTH FOREST" CONTAINED IN SUBDIVISION SIX OF
SECTION 45-0105 OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION LAW.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04830-04-2

S. 3189--A                          2

  S 3. Paragraph (d) of subdivision 5 of section 480-a of the real prop-
erty tax law is relettered paragraph (e) and  a  new  paragraph  (d)  is
added to read as follows:
  (D)  NO  CUTTING OF FOREST CROP SHALL BE PERMITTED IN ANY APPROVED OLD
GROWTH ELIGIBLE TRACT EXCEPT TO PROTECT THE OLD GROWTH FOREST FROM INVA-
SIVE SPECIES OR DISEASE.
  S 4. Subdivision 6 of section 480-a of the real property  tax  law  is
amended by adding a new paragraph (e) to read as follows:
  (E)  NO  CUTTING  OF FOREST CROP SHALL BE MANDATED OR PERMITTED IN ANY
APPROVED OLD GROWTH ELIGIBLE TRACT EXCEPT  TO  PROTECT  THE  OLD  GROWTH
FOREST FROM INVASIVE SPECIES OR DISEASE.
  S  5.  This  act  shall take effect January 1, 2013 and shall apply to
taxable years beginning on and after such date.

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