Introduced by Representatives Masland of Thetford, Deen of Westminster and Kiss of Burlington
Subject: Conservation; tax; forests and parks; heavy cutting; audit
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes that the department of forests, parks and recreation, in consultation with the department of taxes, investigate compliance with the state heavy cutting law and land gains tax requirements for timber harvests and report its results to the general assembly.
AN ACT RELATING TO HEAVY CUTTING AND THE LAND GAINS TAX FOR TIMBER HARVESTS
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. HEAVY CUTTING AND LAND GAINS TAX AUDIT
(a) The department of forests, parks and recreation, in consultation with the department of taxes, shall investigate compliance by foresters of the state with the requirements of the heavy cutting law under section 2625 of Title 10 and the land gains tax under chapter 236 of Title 32. In each county of the state, the department of forests, parks and recreation randomly shall select 20 properties from which 35 acres or more of timber has been harvested and sold within seven years of the purchase of the property. The investigation required by this subsection shall include, where authorized by law, visits to and stump cruises of the selected properties.
(b) The department of forests, parks and recreation shall report the results of its investigation to the general assembly by January 15, 2007. The report shall include:
(1) The number of properties for which a land gains claim was filed as required under chapter 236 of Title 32.
(2) The number of properties for which a heavy cut permit was obtained as required by section 2625 of Title 10.
(3) A determination of whether the proposed timber harvest identified in a heavy cut permit application is consistent with a department of forests, parks and recreation stumpage estimate of the relevant site.
(4) After consultation with the department of taxes and subject to limitations on the disclosure of tax returns and related documents under subdivision 317(c)(6) of Title 1, whether there are discrepancies between the stumpage figures reported in relevant land gains tax claims and the department of forests, parks and recreation stumpage estimates.
Sec. 2. APPROPRIATIONS
There is appropriated $100,000.00 from the general fund to the department of forests, parks and recreation for the inspection and report required under Sec. 1 of this act.
Sec. 3. EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect on passage.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street