A controversial proposal to replace state tax payments on Forest Preserve lands with negotiated “payments in lieu of taxes” was jettisoned in the final rounds of state budget talks.
“I am both relieved and grateful that the budget does not change New York’s current method of paying taxes on state-owned lands to localities,” State Senator Betty Little said on March 31, shortly after the budget was adopted. “It would have overturned a practice, now more than a century old and clearly defined in statute, unfairly costing the local taxpayers. Getting this out of the budget was a priority for me and I’m very pleased we’ve gotten the result so many wanted.”
The state’s payments to Adirondack towns, schools and special districts in the form of property taxes on Forest Preserve lands, which some have been estimated to be as high as $80 million a year, are therefore likely to continue, at least for the time being. » Continue Reading.