DEC seeks input on private-forest incentives program

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How to improve a state program of property-tax incentives to encourage private forest landowners to maintain healthy forests is the subject of a series of meetings the state Department of Environmental Conservation has scheduled over the next month.

The Forest Tax Law was enacted in 1974 to give forest landowners with 50 acres or more of qualifying land an incentive for the continued production of forest crops. There are more than 3,400 forest landowners and more than 1.2 million acres of private forest land enrolled in the program. The changes under consideration would address the Real Property Tax Law Section 480a and would not alter the annual tax benefit, stumpage tax, commitment period or penalties for non-compliance, according to the DEC.

The DEC has scheduled a meeting for 6-8 p.m. March 27 at the Region Six sub-office, 7327 Route 812 in Lowville.

Others are scheduled elsewhere in the state, including: March 5, 10 a.m. to noon, Martha Eddy Room at the State Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse; and March 14, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., DEC Region 4 Headquarters, 1130 North Westcott Street Schenectady.

For more information on Forest Tax Law and current regulations, interested parties can visit the DEC website. For more information about the webinar or to submit comments email, contact bslmregs@dec.ny.gov.

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