Supervisor ARGOTSINGER offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption:

RESOLUTION OPPOSING GOVERNOR CUOMO’S PROPOSAL CONTAINED IN THE 2018 BUDGET REVIEW BILL TO AMEND LAWS REGARDING THE CURRENT 480 AND 480-A FOREST EXEMPTION AND TO ADD A NEW 480-B TAXATION OF FOREST LAND UNDER A FOREST PRACTICE PROGRAM OR FOREST CERTIFICATION PROGRAM KNOWN AS THE EMPIRE FORESTS FOR THE FUTURE INITIATIVE

WHREAS, New York State currently has two (2) Forest Exemptions, 480 Forest and Reforested Lands & 480-a Taxation of Forest Land, which are currently administered by each local municipality and its local assessors; and

WHEREAS, the Governor’s 2018 Budget Review Bill proposes to add an additional 480-b Taxation of Forest Land under a Forest Practice Program or Forest Certification Program; and WHEREAS, this proposal reduces the eligible tract from the current 50 acres of forest lands to 25 acres of forest land or other open spaces; and

WHEREAS, the proposal grants a 70% reduction of the assessed value on eligible land under the Forest Certification Program and a 40 % reduction of the assessed value on eligible land under the Forest Management Practice Plan; and

WHEREAS, the proposal has the potential to dramatically reduce the taxable value of the local taxing jurisdictions; and

WHEREAS, recent state land purchases in the Adirondacks has increased state ownership to more than 2.6 million acres of the 6 million acre Adirondack Park; and

WHEREAS, the State controls an additional 800,000 acres by State conservation easements purchased in the last 40 years; and

WHEREAS, the residents, businesses and municipalities located within the Adirondack Park are already unreasonably and unfairly constrained and prohibited from using the vast majority of the property located in the park for commercial, industrial, and even residential purposes which has resulted in the inability of municipalities within the Adirondack Park to attract and sustain businesses and development resulting in extreme and unfair loss in tax revenue; now, therefore be it 

RESOLVED, That the Fulton County Board of Supervisors hereby formally registers its opposition to Governor Cuomo’s proposal contained in the 2018 Budget Review Bill to amend laws regarding the current 480 and 480-a Forest Exemption and to add a new 480-b Taxation of Forest Land under a Forest Practice Program or Forest Certification Program known as The Empire Forests for the Future Initiative; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That certified copies of this Resolution be forwarded to the County Treasurer, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator James Tedisco, Assemblyman Marc Butler, New York State Association of Counties, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator Charles Schumer, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, DEC Region 5 Director Bob Stegemann, Inter-County Legislative Committee of the Adirondacks, Adirondack Park Agency, Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages, and Administrative Officer/Clerk of the Board.

Seconded by Supervisor SELMSER and adopted by the following vote:

TOTAL: Ayes: 477 (17) Nays: 25 (1) (Supervisor Young)
Absent: 49 (2) (Supervisors Groff and Waldron)

Resolutions