General Events:

Regulation reform - RPTL 480a

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) is moving forward with potential regulation changes to the Forest Tax Law Program (RPTL 480a) and is gathering stakeholder comments. Landowners and private consulting foresters that participate in the Forest Tax Law Program are invited to a series of public meetings throughout the state. This regulation reform effort will not alter the annual tax benefit, stumpage tax, commitment period or penalties spelled out in the law.

{Note: NYFOA has come out in support of some of the proposed changes in this law. Read a recent statement from NYFOA here. }

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.

Each meeting will start with a short presentation followed by a public input period. We sincerely hope that you, as a forest landowner and participant in the forest tax law program, will take the time to become involved in this process and come to one of the following meetings:

Note: See here for a running commentary by NYFOA chapters to these meetings.

Feb. 26, 2019 7-9PM
Finger Lakes Community College
Room 2185, Stage 14
3325 Marvin Sands Dr.
Canandaigua, NY 14424
March 14, 2019 11AM-1PM
DEC Region 4 Headquarters
1130 North Westcott Street
Schenectady, NY 12306
Feb. 27, 2019 6-8PM
Concord Town Hall
86 Franklin St.
Springville, NY 14141
March 20, 2019 7-9PM
SUNY New Paltz
1 Hawk Drive
New Paltz, NY 12561
March 5, 2019 10AM-Noon
Martha Eddy Room, NYS Fairgrounds
581 State Fair Blvd
Syracuse, NY 13209
March 21, 2019 7-9PM
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
2801 Sharon Turnpike
Millbrook, NY 12545
March 7, 2019 6-8PM
SUNY Plattsburg
Cardinal Lounge-Angel College Center
Rugar Street
Plattsburg, NY 12901
March 27, 2019 6-8PM
DEC Region 6 Sub-Office
7327 Rt. 812
Lowville, NY 13367

April 2, 2019 1-3 PM
Sidney Memorial Public Library
SMART Community Room
8 River Street,
Sidney, NY 13838

For those who are not able to attend a public meeting, we are also holding an online webinar entitled Forest Tax Law (480a) Regulation Reform on Friday, April 5, 2019 from 10AM-Noon. Please follow the link and/or call in by phone. Webinar capacity is limited to 1,000 people.

Meetng Link:
Meeting number: 645 952 248
Password: CBTgv3pZ
Host key: 800305


By phone at 1-844-633-8697 US Toll Free or 1-518-549-0500 for a local line
Access code: 645 952 248

For more information on Forest Tax Law and current regulations, please see our website at If you can’t make it to any of the meeting opportunities and still would like to comment, please email us at


Courtesy of SOT's Steve Kutney: Links to the current 480a DEC regulations and law. You may want to review these documents prior to attending a meeting on the proposed changes to the regulations.




Specific Events:

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