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For Release: Saturday, February 23, 2019

DEC Seeking Landowner Input on New York's Forest Tax Law Program

Public Meetings to Be Held Across the State February 26 through March 27

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced an upcoming series of public meetings to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to offer input on the Forest Tax Law Program's Section 480a. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss areas of the program that could be improved including increasing compliance, reducing administrative burdens, and improving forestry outcomes.

"New York's forests provide scenic beauty, forest products, wildlife habitat, clean water, and clean air," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Forests are also integral to the uptake and storage of carbon and are a critical component in addressing the threats posed by climate change. The 480a program helps private forest landowners, which own 75 percent of New York's forests, and these meetings provide an opportunity to help DEC enhance the program and its benefit to all New Yorkers."

The Forest Tax Law was enacted in 1974 to give forest landowners with 50 acres or more of qualifying land in New York State an incentive for the "continued production of forest crops." Currently, 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.

State Forester Robert Davies said, "The 480a program provides property tax incentives to encourage private forest landowners to maintain healthy forests for the many benefits they provide to New York State communities. We sincerely hope that current enrollees and other interested stakeholders join us for this important discussion to improve the efficiency and benefits offered by this program."

Landowners and private consulting foresters participating in the 480a program and any interested parties are encouraged to attend one of the eight public meetings that will be offered across the state. DEC will also host a webinar for those who cannot participate in-person.

The public meetings schedule is as follows:

February 26, 2019, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Finger Lakes Community College
Room 2185, Stage 14
3325 Marvin Sands Drive
Canandaigua, NY 14424

February 27, 2019, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Concord Town Hall
86 Franklin Street
Springville, NY 14141

March 5, 2019, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Martha Eddy Room, NYS Fairgrounds
581 State Fair Blvd.
Syracuse, NY 13209

March 7, 2019, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
SUNY Plattsburg
Cardinal Lounge-Angel College Center
Rugar Street
Plattsburg, NY 12901

March 14, 2019, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
DEC Region 4 Headquarters
1130 North Westcott Street
Schenectady, NY 12306

March 20, 2019, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
SUNY New Paltz
1 Hawk Drive
New Paltz, NY 12561

March 21, 2019, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
2801 Sharon Turnpike
Millbrook, NY 12545

March 27, 2019, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
DEC Region 6 Sub-Office
7327 Rt. 812
Lowville, NY 13367

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

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