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Author Topic: NYS Fisher Act  (Read 2881 times)

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Offline jwilly3879

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NYS Fisher Act
« on: February 21, 2014, 09:56:49 AM »
Under NYS RPTL Fisher Act (480).


2.When no forest growth is cut but, as determined by DEC, the tract contains on the average 40,000 board feet of saleable soft wood per acre or 20,000 board feet of saleable hard wood per acre (or, where there is a mixture of the two kinds of wood, the relative percentages of such amounts). In this case, if none of the timber is cut within two years of the DEC determination, the yield tax becomes payable at the end of the two-year period, and at that time the tract becomes ineligible for exemption and limited assessment under RPTL 480.

This seems like an incredible amount of wood per acre.

Do any of our foresters know how this is computed? Thanks


Offline PAFaller

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Re: NYS Fisher Act
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2014, 02:25:29 PM »
Seems high to me, but Ive seen some of the property just north of me in New York with a ridiculous amount of plantation spruce on it. Some of the old CCC plantations, when on the right soil and managed correctly can have pretty high volume per acre. I wouldnt say theres a lot of ground out there like that though.
It ain't easy...

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: NYS Fisher Act
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2014, 03:19:56 PM »
I run a few numbers using 20" trees with good height and fully stocked stands, you can get those numbers in International scale.  It might be possible in an overstocked stand on good soil.  I've only had a few tulip poplar stands that have approached that number.  Good size and good height.

Some states have their own volume tables.  I know PA had some type of system that figured footage differently than any standard scale.  I don't know if it cut out or not.  We never bought state timber.
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Offline jwilly3879

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Re: NYS Fisher Act
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2014, 06:27:54 PM »
Thanks. The reason I asked is that here in our Town there are several smart landowners who got the 480 exemption right before the new and more strict 480a came into effect. With the exemption, there is a 50+ acre lakefront parcel that is assessed at $480,000 and they are only paying tax on $80,000. This parcel has never been harvested and they say it never will because it won't reach the threshold. While what they are doing is legal, it is not ethical and they are putting a big dent in the tax revenue and it must be made up by those less fortunate.

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: NYS Fisher Act
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2014, 11:44:38 AM »
They monkey with the tax codes all the time.  We have clean and green in our state.  That is so you don't develop it.  If you have more than 10 acres, you pretty much qualify. It reduces your taxes by 60%.  If you decide to develop any portion, then you have to pay back taxes and interest for 7 years. 

I bought my place with an eye to that.  They reassessed this year for the first time in 40 years.  My taxes tripled.  I filed for clean and green and my taxes are only up about 20% from my original tax base.  Clean and green was designed to eliminate farmers from selling land to cover for taxes.

The problem with timber products is the long rotation cycle needed.  That means the landowner has to shoulder the burden of the taxes and not be able to recoup any of that tax investment until harvest time.  Those that can't shoulder the expense would cut timber well before maturity and leave a very fragmented forest base.  Seems like the Fisher Act is very similar to clean and green in that it promotes timber resources and lessens land fragmentation due to tax burden.  I think the footage numbers are a little lofty.  They were probably written that way to garner support for the law. 

I think a better indicator would have been basal area density.  Overstocked stands would then be thinned to maintain forest health.  You could also put something for understocked stands where you have a slash for cash mentality of forest management.  You would have to make exceptions for cuts that are being managed for regeneration such as a seed tree or a clearcut. 
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Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: NYS Fisher Act
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2014, 02:28:29 PM »
You mean actually use forestry?  What a concept.  DanG few states do that.
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Offline sprucebunny

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Re: NYS Fisher Act
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2014, 03:04:20 PM »
Forested or farmland does not put a monetary burden on a town like a housing development would. I do not see it as unethical to have taxes reduced on open space.
MS193, MS192 and an 026  Weeding and Thinning. Gilbert Champion sawmill

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: NYS Fisher Act
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2014, 05:30:54 PM »
Something similar here called FLIP (farmland ID program), when registered there are taxes deferred. If the land is ever sold for house lots or additional lots beyond the farmer and say a son's house, then 16 years of back taxes are due.

Those volume figures are very high. The 'hardwood' can be doable, if the 'hardwood' is mature aspen. But then aspen is not really in the definition of hardwood. There are very few hardwood stands near those volumes up here, pretty rare or plain don't exist. Cedar is about the only softwood up here that would get close to those numbers up around the 60 cord/acre range, but they are looking at 80. Not in these parts. ;)
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Offline jwilly3879

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Re: NYS Fisher Act
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2014, 05:42:11 PM »
We are located in the 6 million acre Adirondack Park, roughly 50% is privately owned and highly regulated by the Adirondack Park Agency. The 50% owned by the State is assessed at roughly $50/acre. This buts a pinch on local governments in small towns. The parcel I was referring to is a lake front parcel with a vacation home on it.

The Fisher Act (480) ended in the mid seventies and was replaced by 480a which requires a management and oversight by the DEC so that forestry is actually practiced. 480 has none of these requirements.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: NYS Fisher Act
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2014, 06:40:05 PM »
Don't take this as Gospel but I think in Ohio following what was whole slaughter of small woodslands because of escalating farm land prices the tax codes were amended .

During the late 70's through early 80's thousands of smaller 10-20 acre patchs of hardwoods fell to the mighty D8 Caterpillars. If I'm not mistaken they made atonement on the taxes . One of these Ohio farmers will have to step up on this because I'm not really certain how it turned out .

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: NYS Fisher Act
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2014, 04:37:06 AM »
PA has a Farmland Preservation Act.  The government buys the development rights to the farm so the farmers don't flip their farms into developments.  Its aimed at where suburbia meets rural.  After those rights are sold, its not going to be developed unless the county buys the farm and develops it.

It causes a couple of different problems.  One problem is you have these farms scattered around suburban areas that are like little islands.  While they make for a nice backdrop for the suburban community, it does pose problems when it comes time to scatter manure.  Luckily, the farmers have a right to farm law which means nobody can sue the farmer over ripe odors.  But, those farming islands end up becoming more and more secluded from their markets.  That means its further to markets or supplies, which drives up costs and drives down profits.  And, a lot of the farms are owned by older farmers.  What happens when they retire from the business and nobody wants to take it over?

The other problem is where do the developers go.  While they have a farmland preservation law, there is no woodland preservation law.  There are lots of land clearers in the metropolitan areas.  And since some areas can't be developed due to conditions like wet lands, lot sizes tend to be much larger. 
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: NYS Fisher Act
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2014, 05:04:45 AM »
We don't have population growth here to interfere with farming to any extent. The best farmland here in NB doesn't really collide with the cities. In the closest city most farms were abandoned long ago, a few apple orchards, and mostly 'swamp' woods, but not prime woods ground because it's in the NB lowlands. We have better ground up in my area for both woods and farms, well drained ground. No city for over 100 miles. So what I'm getting at is that it is difficult to generalize. When your worrying about the woods in cities, the farmers here in NB have cleared and continue to clear a lot more than suburbia by far. The woods are the first thing that get hit when the farmer hits hard times or when the farm is being expanded. I see it just this winter for instance, one local farmer is cutting every stick he can cut for the bills on 4 farms, and that is only second growth no older than 30 years. More ground to grow popple. His brother did the same just before the bank took the farm. Now gobbled up by a processor for discount prices. ;)
Move'n on.

Offline jwilly3879

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Re: NYS Fisher Act
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2014, 07:38:52 AM »
The parcel we are currently harvesting is under the Fisher Act and the LO has an active management plan. Every month he makes a payment of 6% of his stumpage to the tax collector.

He has also placed the land under a conservation easement which will assure that it will never be subdivided or developed, remaining as a wildlife refuge.


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