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General Laws

[Text of section applicable as provided by 2006, 394, Sec. 51.]

Section 6. Any land in forest production use which is valued, assessed and taxed under this chapter, if sold for other use within a period of 10 years after the date of its acquisition or after the earliest date of its uninterrupted use by the current owner in forest production, whichever is earlier, shall be subject to a conveyance tax applicable to the total sales price of that land, which tax shall be in addition to taxes that may be imposed under any other law. Notwithstanding the previous sentence, no conveyance tax shall be assessed if the land involved, or a lesser interest in that land, is acquired for a natural resource purpose by the city or town in which it is situated, by the commonwealth or by a nonprofit conservation organization, but if any portion of the land is sold or converted to commercial, residential or industrial use within 5 years after acquisition by a nonprofit conservation organization, the conveyance tax shall be assessed against the nonprofit conservation organization in the amount that would have been assessed at the time of acquisition of the subject parcel by the nonprofit conservation organization had such transaction been subject to a conveyance tax. The conveyance tax shall be assessed on only that portion of land whose use has changed. The conveyance tax shall be at the following rate: 10 per cent if sold within the first year of ownership; 9 per cent if sold within the second year of ownership; 8 per cent if sold within the third year of ownership; 7 per cent if sold within the fourth year of ownership; 6 per cent if sold within the fifth year of ownership; 5 per cent if sold within the sixth year of ownership; 4 per cent if sold within the seventh year of ownership; 3 per cent if sold within the eighth year of ownership; 2 per cent if sold within the ninth year of ownership; and 1 per cent if sold within the tenth year of ownership. No conveyance tax shall be imposed under this section after the end of the tenth year of ownership. The conveyance tax shall be due and payable by the grantor at the time of transfer of the property by deed or other instrument of conveyance and shall be payable to the tax collector of the city or town in which the property is entered upon the tax list, but in the case of taking by eminent domain, the value of the property taken shall be determined in accordance with chapter 79, and the amount of conveyance tax, if any, shall be added as an added value. If there is filed with the board of assessors an affidavit by the purchaser that the land is being purchased for forest production use, no conveyance tax shall be payable by the seller by reasons of the sale, but if the land is not in fact continued in this use for at least 5 consecutive years, the purchaser shall be liable for any conveyance tax that would have been payable on the sale as a sale for other use. The conveyance tax shall be assessed on only that portion of land for which the use has changed.

Except with respect to eminent domain takings, this section shall not be applicable to the following: mortgage deeds; deeds to or by the city or town in which the land is located; deeds which correct, modify, supplement or confirm a deed previously recorded; deeds between husband and wife and parent and child when no consideration is received; tax deeds; deeds releasing any property which is a security for a debt or other obligation; deeds for division of property between owners without monetary consideration; foreclosures of mortgages and conveyances by the foreclosing parties; deeds made under a merger of a corporation or by a subsidiary corporation to its parent corporation for no consideration other than the cancellation and surrender of capital stock of the subsidiary which do not change beneficial ownership; and property transferred by devise or otherwise as a result of death.

A nonexempt transfer after any exempt transfer or transfers shall be subject to this section. Upon the nonexempt transfer, the date of acquisition by the grantor, for purposes of this section, shall be considered to be the date of the last preceding transfer not excluded by the foregoing provisions from application of this section, but in the case of transfer by a grantor who has acquired the property from a foreclosing mortgagee, the date of acquisition shall be considered to be the date of the acquisition. Any land in forest production use which is valued, assessed and taxed under this chapter, if changed by the owner of the land to another use within a period of 10 years after the date of its acquisition by that owner, shall be subject to the conveyance tax applicable under this section at the time of the change in use as if there had been an actual conveyance, and the value of the land for the purpose of determining a total sales price shall be fair market value as determined by the board of assessors of the city or town involved for all other property.

If any tax imposed under this section should not be paid, the collector of taxes shall have the same powers and be subject to the same duties with respect to these taxes as in the case of the annual taxes upon real estate, and the law in regard to the collection of the annual taxes, the sale of land for the nonpayment of taxes and redemption shall apply to these taxes.

No conveyance tax imposed by this section will be assessed on land that is considered to be in agricultural use under sections 1 and 3 of chapter 61A, in horticultural use under sections 2 and 3 of said chapter 61A or recreational land under section 1 of chapter 61B.

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