Task force says current use program works well

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(Host) A task force appointed by the Legislature says a state program that gives farm and forest land owners a break on their property taxes is working well.

The task force says there are a few issues that need to be studied further.

But Woodstock Representative Allison Clarkson, who headed the task force, says no major changes are being recommended for current use.

(Clarkson) “We asked, `Is current use accomplishing its goals?’ And, yes, after 30 years, this is a program that’s meeting its goals. And the goals are still relevant today. And, yes, we found the program is still helping achieve these goals, which was very interesting to see. I think lots of people might have felt differently. And, yes, the program can be changed to better meet those goals. And we looked at ways to do that.”

(Host) Under current use, farm and forest land is taxed at its value for agriculture – not at its value as a potential development site.

It’s been in place for 30 years and Clarkson says the Legislature wanted to examine whether it’s been working as intended.

She says the task force has asked the Natural Resources Agency to examine whether there are ways to persuade landowners not to post their land if it’s enrolled in current use.

There also are some ideas being explored about whether valuable ecological land should be eligible for enrollment.

But the task force concluded that the major rules governing current use should be retained without changes.


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