Bill Text: NY A00541 | 2017-2018 | General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: 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.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2018-01-03 - referred to real property taxation [A00541 Detail]

Download: New_York-2017-A00541-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     January 9, 2017
        Introduced  by M. of A. GUNTHER, CROUCH, GIGLIO -- Multi-Sponsored by --
          M. of A.   HAWLEY, LOPEZ, MAGEE --  read  once  and  referred  to  the
          Committee on Real Property Taxation
        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:
     1    Section  1.  Legislative  findings.  The  legislature hereby finds and
     2  declares that in light of significant increases in real  property  taxes
     3  in  many  parts  of the state, due to a variety of factors including but
     4  not limited to increases in market value of  real  property,  growth  in
     5  school  and  local  spending,  a declining commercial and industrial tax
     6  base, and  assessment  valuation  practices  which  may  not  accurately
     7  reflect  the actual value of timber, that now more than ever an increas-
     8  ing proportion of lands in the state devoted to  the  growth  of  forest
     9  crops  are assessed at a level which renders the continued dedication to
    10  such use uneconomical. It is the purpose of this act to chart a path  by
    11  which  present and future forestlands may be protected and enhanced as a
    12  viable segment of the state's economy, and as an environmental resource.
    13    § 2. On and after January 1, 2018, no assessor of any local  assessing
    14  unit  shall  increase  that  portion  of the assessment of real property
    15  which pertains to the stumpage value of trees on any parcel of privately
    16  owned real property to which a stumpage value is assigned on the  effec-
    17  tive  date of this act, as determined from the assessment from the imme-
    18  diately preceding assessment roll.
    19    § 3. Commencing with the 2018 assessment  roll,  an  assessor  of  any
    20  local  assessing  unit shall assign a value for trees upon any parcel of
    21  real property which does not bear a stumpage value immediately prior  to
    22  the effective date of this act.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 541                              2
     1    §  4.  The  provisions of sections two and three of this act shall not
     2  apply to state owned land.
     3    §  5. As used in this act, "stumpage value" shall mean that portion of
     4  privately owned forestland which is in addition to the bare  land  value
     5  and  pertains  to real property upon which the assessor has calculated a
     6  contributory value for the trees pursuant to guidelines  for  the  valu-
     7  ation of forestlands issued by the commissioner of taxation and finance.
     8    §  6.  A forestland taxation task force is hereby established to exam-
     9  ine, evaluate and make recommendations concerning the  existing  methods
    10  of  assessing and taxing private forestlands, and alternative methods of
    11  assessing and taxing  private  forestlands  which  are  consistent  with
    12  promoting sustainable forestry practices, encouraging private investment
    13  in working forests and maintaining open space.
    14    § 7. The forestland taxation task force shall consist of seven members
    15  to  be  appointed  as  follows:  two shall be appointed by the temporary
    16  president of the senate, two shall be appointed by the  speaker  of  the
    17  assembly,  one  shall be appointed by the minority leader of the senate,
    18  one shall be appointed by the minority leader of the assembly,  and  one
    19  shall  be appointed by the governor. The members of the task force shall
    20  include a representative from each of the following: family forest oper-
    21  ations, timber investment management organizations, farm woodlot owners,
    22  local governments, the forest products industry, private forest landown-
    23  ers and environmental organizations. Vacancies in the membership of  the
    24  task  force shall be filled in the manner provided for original appoint-
    25  ments.
    26    § 8. The forestland taxation task force may meet  within  and  without
    27  the state, shall hold public hearings and shall have all the powers of a
    28  legislative  committee  pursuant  to the legislative law. To the maximum
    29  extent feasible, the members of the task  force  shall  be  entitled  to
    30  request and receive, and shall utilize and be provided with such facili-
    31  ties,  resources  and  data  of  any court, department, division, board,
    32  bureau, commission and agency of the state or any political  subdivision
    33  thereof  as  it  may reasonably request to properly carry out its powers
    34  and duties pursuant to this act.
    35    § 9. The members of the forestland taxation task force  shall  receive
    36  no  compensation  for  their services, but shall be allowed their actual
    37  and necessary expenses incurred  in  the  performance  of  their  duties
    38  pursuant to this act.
    39    § 10. The forestland taxation task force shall report, to the governor
    40  and the legislature, its findings, conclusions and recommendations on or
    41  before April 30, 2019, and shall submit with its report such legislative
    42  proposals as it deems necessary to implement its recommendations.
    43    § 11. This act shall take effect immediately.