|SAME AS||SAME AS S05160|
|Amd §480-a, RPT L|
|Exempts certain old-growth forests from private property taxation.|
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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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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. LBD10459-01-7A. 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.