LANDOWNER COMMENTS

11/19/15
I believe for many landowners in NY, the risk is greater than the reward for entering into the 480a program. Much of the land in NY has great potential for natural gas exploration. The penalties for an alternative use of the land such as this are very severe. The 6% stumpage tax may also negate or exceed any tax savings. Landowners are also locked into a 10 year term minimum, a lot can change in 10 years.
– Landowner, NY 13795

5/27/15
Our hunting club was established in 1939. Enrolling in 480-a has helped us form long term forest management goals, engage in responsible conservation of our natural resources, and keep membership dues affordable despite increasing taxes. We estimate “losing” approximately $50,000 over a 10 year period if we were to switch to the proposed Time of Management option.
– Landowner, NY 12758

5/27/15
The Green Certification option would be cost prohibitive to landowners. Having to pay a 3rd party to be certified and paying for annual conformance audits would likely outweigh the benefit of a 70% assessment reduction, particularly on lands where harvests were recently performed and future harvests (and income) are many years away.
– Landowner, NY 12758

5/27/15
The option for landowners currently receiving a 480-a tax exemption to be “grandfathered” within the existing program should be given. This would ensure the financial stability landowners rely on, as well as helping them continue to meet long term objectives set forth under their established forest management plan.
– Landowner, NY 12758

5/15/15
480a participation threshold minimum could be 100-250 acres to remain/or be included. 1K acre minimum, to be/or remain 480a eligible, precludes participation by 90% of private family forests. Lowering the 480a participation rate will be onerous for the many seniors who currently participate and take many forested acres out of forestry.
– Landowner, NY 12436

5/15/15
Reduction of acreage to 25 should NOT include “open spaces”, unless “open space” is being managed for regeneration/or wildlife habitat.
“Green Certification” 2a will be prohibitively expensive. Most private forest land owned by those over 65 who already struggle to pay current taxes (with or without exemptions).
– Landowner, NY 12436

5/15/15
Current 480a enrollees should be permitted to stay in the program INDEFINITELY, or until a title change, since the program is NOT being completely discontinued.
– Landowner, NY 12436

5/15/15
I have been a long-standing participant in the 480a Program. While onerous in certain respects, it is compatible with my long term objectives — sustainable timber production, clean water and environment and protection of wildlife habitat. The revamp of 480a, which effectively excludes my participation, would casue me to seriously reconsider the property’s current use; possibly opening it to subdivisions and fragmentation. Such actions would not only harm the environment and asthetic value to the community, it would likely increase municipal costs through demands for services not currently required.
– Landowner, NY 12436

5/6/15
My family owns a 42 acre woodlot in the town of Maryland. It is bare land with no buildings or roads. The trees are low value species like aspen and “bushy” white pines (infested by weevils, there aren’t any straight logs). Enrolling in 480A (even if I had the requisite acreage) would require a lot of weeding-out and chainsaw felling of these of poor quality trees. Under the new “time of harvest option” it looks like I can just have a firewood harvest and then enroll. That way I wouldn’t have to invest time and money thinning and rehabilitating the tree species and quality. I don’t agree DEC foresters that this will “increase the health and sustainability of New York’s forests”…? But from a purely selfish standpoint, I would stand to benefit from a 40% reduction in taxes.

– Landowner, NY 12167