S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K
2011-2012 Regular Sessions
I N S E N A T E
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-
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
EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
[ ] is old law to be omitted.
S. 787--C 2
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.