Supreme Court rules on land use case

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The Vermont Supreme Court has ruled for the state in a dispute over whether a Mendon property owner can be penalized for not following a forest management plan. Friday’s decision overturns a lower court’s ruling.

The case concerned the state’s current-use program, which taxes farm and forest property at its value in those uses. The state wanted to remove 500 acres owned by Joseph and Anne Jones from the current use program and levy a change of land use tax. The state sought to do so after inspections found extensive logging had been done in violation of the forest management plan for the land.

Judge William Cohen had originally ruled in favor of the land owners when they sought to block the state from removing the land from the program. The high court’s decision reverses Cohen’s ruling.

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