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A08643 Summary:

BILL NOA08643
 
SAME ASSAME AS S05160
 
SPONSORD'Urso
 
COSPNSROrtiz
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd 480-a, RPT L
 
Exempts certain old-growth forests from private property taxation.
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A08643 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A8643
 
SPONSOR: D'Urso
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the real property tax law, in relation to exempting certain old-growth forests from taxation   PURPOSE: To encourage protection of privately-owned old growth forests in New York.   SUMMARY OF 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 extent 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.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012 A.10386 2014 A.1921a 2016 A.2174   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to taxable years beginning on and after the first of January next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.
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A08643 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          8643
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    September 1, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced by M. of A. D'URSO -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Real Property Taxation
 
        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:

     1    Section  1.  Subparagraph  (ii)  of  paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of
     2  section 480-a of the real property tax law, as amended by chapter 396 of
     3  the laws of 2008, is amended and a new subparagraph (iii)  is  added  to
     4  read as follows:
     5    (ii)  participation  in a forest certification program (such as Forest
     6  Stewardship  Council  certification,  Sustainable  Forestry  Initiative;
     7  American  Tree  Farm Program, etc.) recognized in the regulations of the
     8  department[.]; or
     9    (iii) as to an "old-growth"  eligible  tract,  a  plan  that  includes
    10  provisions  that the old-growth forest be protected with minimum manage-
    11  ment or disturbance that only considers  passive  recreational  opportu-
    12  nities  with  no  construction  or commercial removal of trees. In those
    13  provisions, the  protection  of  the  old-growth  forest  from  invasive
    14  species and diseases may be considered.
    15    § 2. Paragraph (h) of subdivision 1 of section 480-a of the real prop-
    16  erty  tax  law  is  relettered  paragraph (i) and a new paragraph (h) is
    17  added to read as follows:
    18    (h) "Old-growth eligible tract" shall mean a tract that conforms  with
    19  the  definition  of  "old-growth forest" contained in subdivision six of
    20  section 45-0105 of the environmental conservation law and that the owner
    21  of such tract has elected to declare as an "old growth" tract.
    22    § 3. Paragraph (d) of subdivision 5 of section 480-a of the real prop-
    23  erty tax law is relettered paragraph (e) and  a  new  paragraph  (d)  is
    24  added to read as follows:

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD10459-01-7

        A. 8643                             2
 
     1    (d)  No  cutting of forest crop shall be permitted in any approved old
     2  growth eligible tract except to protect the old growth forest from inva-
     3  sive species or disease.
     4    §  4.  Subdivision  6 of section 480-a of the real property tax law is
     5  amended by adding a new paragraph (e) to read as follows:
     6    (e) No cutting of forest crop shall be mandated or  permitted  in  any
     7  approved  old  growth  eligible  tract  except to protect the old growth
     8  forest from invasive species or disease.
     9    § 5. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to taxable
    10  years beginning on and after the first of January  next  succeeding  the
    11  date on which it shall have become a law.
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