Monday, March 21, 2011

Proposed Current Use Bill Summary and Plum Creek

House Bill 237, sponsored by Representative Clarkson, makes some minor changes to the use value program. The bill would eliminate the preferential property tax transfer tax rates for enrolled land and use the savings to develop and implement an electronic database for the use value program. The land use change tax would be 10% of fair market price, rather than 20% as it is now. The tax will then be paid to the local municipality, rather than to the general fund. Those enrolled in the program, and who take great issue with the changes created by this bill, would be granted an easy out of the program. The bill’s success would be monitored by a program study, which is implemented by the bill. The bill would take effect in July of 2011.
Rural VT is comfortable with all these changes, and supports this legislation. Currently, Plum Creek (notorious land pillagers and corporate thieves) are bending the ears of Senate and House Ag., about the clause within Current Use that indicates a moratorium on logging all contiguous land to a cut contrary (an area that was over-harvested.) Plum Creek wants legislation that makes the penalty less harsh, as they have hundreds of acres frozen right now on account of the current penalty. I, nor Rural VT, is in favor of an easement and we will continue to monitor Plum Creek in the State House. For more information on Plum Creek, and what these guys are up to, visit this link:

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