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Session Law

2006

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Chapter 394 AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE TAXATION OF FOREST, FARM, AND RECREATION LAND.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:

SECTION 1. The definition of “class two, open-space” of subsection (b) of section 2A of chapter 59 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2004 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:- In a city or town that has elected to adopt section 2A of chapter 61, section 4A of chapter 61A or section 2A of chapter 61B, class two, open-space shall include land taxable under chapter 61, 61A or 61B.

SECTION 2. Section 1 of chapter 61 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the definition of “Forest land,” and inserting in place thereof the following definition:-

“Forest land”, land devoted to the growth of forest products. Upon application, the state forester may allow accessory land devoted to other non-timber uses to be included in certification.

SECTION 3. Said section 1 of said chapter 61, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out the definition of “Forest products” and inserting in place thereof the following definition:-

“Forest products”, wood, timber, Christmas trees, other tree forest growth and any other product produced by forest vegetation.

SECTION 4. Said section 1 of said chapter 61, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out the definition of “Owner” and inserting in place thereof the following definition:-

“Owner”, person, persons, or another legal entity holding title to a parcel of forest land.

SECTION 5. Said section 1 of said chapter 61, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out the definition of “Parcel” and inserting in place thereof the following definition:-

“Parcel”, land held by the same owner under a deed of title which has no encumbrance incompatible with this chapter.

SECTION 6. Said section 1 of said chapter 61, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out the definition of “Stumpage value”.

SECTION 7. Section 2 of said chapter 61, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the first paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following 2 paragraphs:-

Except as otherwise herein provided, all forest land, parcels of not less than 10 contiguous acres in area, used for forest production shall be classified by the assessors as forest land upon written application sufficient for identification and certification by the state forester. Such application shall be accompanied by a forest management plan. The state forester will have sole responsibility for review and certification with regard to forest land and forest production.
The rate of tax applicable to certified forest land shall be the rate determined to be applicable to class three, commercial property under chapter 59.

SECTION 8. The third paragraph of said section 2 of said chapter 61, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the second sentence.

SECTION 9. Said section 2 of said chapter 61, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 41, the word “September” and inserting in place thereof the following word:- October.

SECTION 10. The fifth paragraph of said section 2 of said chapter 61, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the last sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- Classification shall take effect on January first of the year following certification and taxation under this chapter and shall commence with the fiscal year beginning after said January first.

SECTION 11. Said section 2 of said chapter 61, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out the sixth paragraph.

SECTION 12. Said chapter 61 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 2 the following section:-

Section 2A. In a city or town that accepts this section, the rate of tax applicable to certified forest land shall be the rate determined to be applicable to class two, open space.

SECTION 13. Said chapter 61 is hereby further amended by striking out section 3, as appearing in the 2004 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 3. For general property tax purposes, the value of land that is actively devoted to forest production use during the tax year in issue and has not been used for purposes incompatible with forest production in the 2 immediately preceding tax years, shall, upon application of the owner of that land and approval of that application, be the value that the land has for forest production purposes.

The board of assessors of a city or town, in valuing land with respect to which timely application has been made and approved as provided in this chapter, shall consider only those indicia of value which the land has for forest production. The board, in establishing the use value of land, shall use the list of ranges published under section 11 of chapter 61A and its personal knowledge, judgment and experience as to forest land values, but these factors shall be limited to data specific to forest production.

The land tax shall be committed to the collector for collection in the same manner as taxes assessed under chapter 59. The collector shall notify the person assessed of the amount of the tax in the manner provided in section 3 of chapter 60. For the collection of taxes under this chapter the collector shall have all the remedies provided by chapter 60. Taxes so assessed shall be due and payable on October first of the year in which the return is required to be made, and, if not paid on or before November first of the year of assessment, or within 30 days after notification of the taxes if the notice is given after October first, shall bear interest at the rate as provided in section 57 of chapter 59. Any person aggrieved by the assessment of a tax under this section may, within 30 days after the date of notice of the tax, apply in writing to the assessors upon a form approved by the commissioner of revenue for abatement of that tax, and if the assessors, after hearing, find that the tax is excessive, they shall abate it in whole or in part. If the tax has been paid, the town treasurer shall repay to the person assessed the amount of the abatement with interest on that amount at the current rate provided in section 69 of said chapter 59. Any person aggrieved by the refusal of the assessors to abate a tax in whole or in part or by their failure to act upon an application may appeal to the appellate tax board within 30 days after the date of notice of decision of the assessors or within 3 months after the date of the application for abatement, whichever date is later. Any overpayment of tax determined by decision of the appellate tax board shall be reimbursed by the town treasurer with interest at the current rate as provided in said section 69.

SECTION 14. Said chapter 61 is hereby further amended by striking out section 4, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 4. All buildings located on land which is valued, assessed and taxed on the basis of its forest production use in accordance with this chapter and all land occupied by a dwelling or regularly used for family living shall be valued, assessed and taxed by the same standards, methods and procedures as other taxable property.

SECTION 15. Said chapter 61 is hereby further amended by striking out section 5, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 5. Land qualifying for valuation, assessment and taxation under this chapter shall be subject to special assessments or betterment assessments to the pro rata extent that the service or facility financed by the assessment is used for improving the forest production use capability of the land or for the personal benefit of the owner of the land. These assessments shall, upon application, be suspended during the time the land is in forest production use and shall become due and payable as of the date when the use of the land is changed. Payment of the assessment and interest on it shall be made in accordance with section 13 of chapter 80, but interest shall be computed from the date of the change in use. In the event only a portion of a tract of land which benefits from a suspension of payment is changed from this use, the assessment shall become due and payable as of the date when the use was changed only to the extent of and in the proportion that the frontage of that portion bears to the street frontage of the entire tract of land which originally benefited from a suspension of payment. Upon receipt of full payment of a portion of a suspended assessment, the tax collector shall dissolve the lien for the assessment insofar as it affects the portion of the land changed from forest production use. The lien for the portion of the original assessment which remains unpaid shall continue and remain in full force and effect until dissolved in accordance with law. A request for a release shall be made in writing to the tax collector and shall be accompanied by a plan and any other information that is required in the case of a request for a division of an assessment under section 4.

SECTION 16. Said chapter 61 is hereby further amended by striking out section 6, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
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.

SECTION 17. Said chapter 61 is hereby further amended by striking out section 7, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 7. Whenever land which is valued, assessed and taxed under this chapter no longer meets the definition of forest land, it shall be subject to additional taxes, in this section called roll-back taxes, in the tax year in which it is disqualified and in each of the 4 immediately preceding tax years in which the land was so valued, assessed and taxed, but these roll-back taxes shall not apply unless the amount of the taxes, as computed under this section, exceeds the amount, imposed under section 6 and, in that case, the land shall not be subject to the conveyance tax imposed under said section 6. For each tax year, the roll-back tax shall be an amount equal to the difference, if any, between the taxes paid or payable for that tax year in accordance with this chapter and the taxes that would have been paid or payable in that tax year had the land been valued, assessed and taxed without regard to these provisions.
If, at the time during a tax year when a change in land use has occurred, the land is not valued, assessed and taxed under this chapter, then the land shall be subject to roll-back taxes only for those years of the 5 immediately preceding years in which the land was valued, assessed and taxed under this chapter.
In determining the amount of roll-back taxes on land which has undergone a change in use, the board of assessors shall ascertain the following for each of the roll-back tax years involved:-

(a) the full and fair value of the land under the valuation standard applicable to other land in the city or town;
(b) the amount of the land assessment for the particular tax year;
(c) the amount of the additional assessment on the land for the particular tax year by deducting the amount of the actual assessment on the land for that year from the amount of the land assessment determined under subsection (a); and
(d) the amount of the roll-back tax for that tax year by multiplying the amount of the additional assessment determined under subsection (c) by the general property tax rate of the city or town applicable for that tax year.

Roll-back taxes will be subject to simple interest at a rate of 5 per cent per annum. If the board of assessors determines that the total amount of roll-back taxes to be assessed under this section, before the addition of any interest, as provided for in the preceding paragraph, would be less than $10, no tax shall be assessed.

No roll-back tax imposed by this section will be assessed on land that meets the definition of land in agricultural use under sections 1 and 3 of chapter 61A or the definition of land in horticultural use under sections 2 and 3 of said chapter 61A or the definition of recreational land under section 1 of chapter 61B.
Land retained as open space as required for the mitigation of a development shall be subject to the roll-back taxes imposed by this section.

SECTION 18. Said chapter 61 is hereby amended by striking out section 8, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 8. Land taxed under this chapter shall not be sold for, or converted to, residential, industrial or commercial use while so taxed or within 1 year after that time unless the city or town in which the land is located has been notified of the intent to sell for, or to convert to, that other use.

The discontinuance of forest certification shall not, in itself, for the purposes of this section, be considered a conversion. Specific use of land for a residence for the owner, the owner’s spouse or a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, or brother or sister of the owner, or surviving husband or wife of any deceased such relative, or for living quarters for any persons actively employed full-time in the forest use of that land, shall not be a conversion for the purposes of this section, and a certificate of the board of assessors, recorded with the registry of deeds, shall conclusively establish that particular use.

Any notice of intent to sell for other use shall be accompanied by a statement of intent to sell, a statement of proposed use of the land, the location and acreage of land as shown on a map drawn at the scale of the assessors map in the city or town in which the land is situated, and the name, address and telephone number of the landowner.

Any notice of intent to sell for other use shall be accompanied by a certified copy of an executed purchase and sale agreement specifying the purchase price and all terms and conditions of the proposed sale, which is limited to only the property classified under this chapter, and which shall be a bona fide offer as described below.

Any notice of intent to sell for other use shall also be accompanied by any additional agreements or a statement of any additional consideration for any contiguous land under the same ownership, and not classified under this chapter, but sold or to be sold contemporaneously with the proposed sale.
For the purposes of this chapter, a bona fide offer to purchase shall mean a good faith offer, not dependent upon potential changes to current zoning or conditions or contingencies relating to the potential for, or the potential extent of, subdivision of the property for residential use or the potential for, or the potential extent of development of the property for industrial or commercial use, made by a party unaffiliated with the landowner for a fixed consideration payable upon delivery of the deed.

Any notice of intent to convert to other use shall be accompanied by a statement of intent to convert, a statement of proposed use of the land, the location and acreage of land as shown on a map drawn at the scale of the assessors map in the city or town in which the land is situated, the name, address and telephone number of the landowner and the landowner’s attorney, if any.

The notice of intent to sell or convert shall be sent by the landowner, by certified mail or hand-delivered, to the mayor and city council of a city, or board of selectmen of a town, and in the case of either a city or a town, to its board of assessors, to its planning board and conservation commission, if any, and to the state forester.

A notarized affidavit that the landowner has mailed or delivered a notice of intent to sell or convert shall be conclusive evidence that the landowner has mailed the notice in the manner and at the time specified. Each affidavit shall have attached to it a copy of the notice of intent to which it relates.

The notice of intent to sell or convert shall be considered to have been duly mailed if addressed to the mayor and city council or board of selectmen in care of the city or town clerk; to the planning board and conservation commission if addressed to them directly; to the state forester if addressed to the commissioner of the department of conservation and recreation and to the assessors if addressed to them directly.

If the notice of intent to sell or convert does not contain all of the material as described above, then the town or city, within 30 days after receipt, shall notify the landowner in writing that the notice is insufficient and does not comply.

For a period of 120 days after the day following the latest date of deposit in the United States mail of any notice which complies with this section, the city or town shall have, in the case of intended sale, a first refusal option to meet a bona fide offer to purchase the land.

In the case of intended or determined conversion not involving sale, the municipality shall have an option to purchase the land at full and fair market value to be determined by an impartial appraisal performed by a certified appraiser hired at the expense of the municipality or its assignee, the original appraisal to be completed and delivered to the landowner within 30 days after the notice of conversion to the municipality. In the event that the landowner is dissatisfied with the original appraisal, the landowner may, at the landowner’s expense, contract for a second appraisal, the second appraisal to be completed within 60 days after the delivery of the notice to convert. If, after completion of the second appraisal, the parties cannot agree on a consideration, the parties shall contract with a mutually acceptable appraiser for a third appraisal whose cost will be borne equally by both parties. The third appraisal shall be delivered to both parties within 90 days after the notice of conversion to the municipality and shall be the final determination of consideration. Upon agreement of a consideration, the city or town shall then have 120 days to exercise its option. During the appraisal process, the landowner may revoke the intent to convert at any time and with no recourse to either party.

This option may be exercised only after a public hearing followed by written notice signed by the mayor or board of selectmen, mailed to the landowner by certified mail at such address as may be specified in the notice of intent. Notice of the public hearing shall be given in accordance with section 23B of chapter 39.

The notice of exercise shall also be recorded at the registry of deeds and shall contain the name of the record owner of the land and description of the premises adequate for identification of it.

The notice to the landowner of the city or town’s election to exercise its option shall be accompanied by a proposed purchase and sale contract or other agreement between the city or town and the landowner which, if executed, shall be fulfilled within a period of not more than 90 days after the date the contract or agreement, endorsed by the landowner, is returned by certified mail to the mayor or board of selectmen, or upon expiration of any extended period the landowner has agreed to in writing, whichever is later.

At the public hearing or a further public hearing, the city or town may assign its option to a nonprofit conservation organization or to the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions under terms and conditions that the mayor or board of selectmen may consider appropriate. Notice of the public hearing shall be given in accordance with section 23B of chapter 39.

The assignment shall be for the purpose of maintaining no less than 70 per cent of the land in use as forest land as defined in section 1 of this chapter, as agricultural and horticultural land as defined in sections 1 and 2 of chapter 61A or as recreation land as defined in section 1 of chapter 61B, and in no case shall the assignee develop a greater proportion of the land than was proposed by the developer whose offer gave rise to the assignment. All land other than land that is to be developed shall then be bound by a permanent deed restriction that meets the requirements of chapter 184.

If the first refusal option has been assigned to a nonprofit conservation organization or to the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions as provided in this section, the mayor or board of selectmen shall provide written notice of assignment to the landowner.

The notice of assignment shall state the name and address of the organization or agency of the commonwealth which will exercise the option in addition to the terms and conditions of the assignment. The notice of assignment shall be recorded with the registry of deeds.

Failure to record either the notice of exercise or the notice of assignment within the 120 day period shall be conclusive evidence that the city or town has not exercised its option.

If the option has been assigned to a nonprofit conservation organization or to the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions, the option may be exercised by the assignee only by written notice to the landowner signed by the assignee, mailed to the landowner by certified mail at the address that is specified in the notice of intent. The notice of exercise shall also be recorded with the registry of deeds and shall contain the name of the record owner of the land and description of the premises adequate for identification of them.

The notice of exercise to the landowner shall be accompanied by a proposed purchase and sale contract or other agreement between the assignee and landowner which, if executed, shall be fulfilled within a period of not more than 90 days, or upon expiration of any extended period the landowner has agreed to in writing, from the date the contract or agreement, endorsed by the landowner, is returned by certified mail to the assignee.

During the 120 day period, the city or town or its assignees, shall have the right, at reasonable times and upon reasonable notice, to enter upon said land for the purpose of surveying and inspecting said land, including but not limited to soil testing for purposes of Title V and the taking of water samples.

The city or town or its assignee shall have all rights assigned to the buyer in the purchase and sales agreement contained in the notice of intent.

If the city or town elects not to exercise the option, and not to assign its right to exercise the option, the city or town shall send written notice of non-exercise signed by the mayor or board of selectmen to the landowner by certified mail at the address that is specified in the notice of intent. The notice of non-exercise shall contain the name of the owner of record of the land and description of the premises adequate for identification of them, and shall be recorded with the registry of deeds.

No sale or conversion of the land shall be consummated until the option period has expired or the notice of non-exercise has been recorded with the registry of deeds, and no sale of the land shall be consummated if the terms of the sale differ in any material way from the terms of the purchase and sale agreement which accompanied the bona fide offer to purchase as described in the notice of intent to sell except as provided in this section.

This section shall not apply to a mortgage foreclosure sale, but the holder of a mortgage shall, at least 90 days before a foreclosure sale, send written notice of the time and place of the sale to the parties in the manner described in this section for notice of intent to sell or convert, and the giving of this notice may be established by an affidavit as described in this section.

SECTION 19. Chapter 61A of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 2, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 2. Land shall be considered to be in horticultural use when primarily and directly used in raising fruits, vegetables, berries, nuts and other foods for human consumption, feed for animals, tobacco, flower, sod, trees, nursery or greenhouse products, and ornamental plants and shrubs for the purpose of selling these products in the regular course of business; or when primarily and directly used in raising forest products under a certified forest management plan, approved by and subject to procedures established by the state forester, designed to improve the quantity and quality of a continuous crop for the purpose of selling these products in the regular course of business; or when primarily and directly used in a related manner which is incidental to those uses and represents a customary and necessary use in raising these products and preparing them for market.

SECTION 20. Said chapter 61A is hereby further amended by inserting after section 4 the following section:-

Section 4A. In a city or town that accepts this section, the rate of tax applicable to land actively devoted to agricultural, horticultural or agricultural and horticultural uses shall be the rate determined to be applicable to class two, open space.

SECTION 21. Section 7 of said chapter 61A, as appearing in the 2004 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 3, the words “December thirty-first” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- June thirtieth.

SECTION 22. Section 10 of said chapter 61A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “values”, in line 8, the following words:- but these factors shall be limited to data specific to the crop or product being grown or produced.

SECTION 23. Section 11 of said chapter 61A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “agriculture”, in line 3, the following words:- , commissioner of the department of conservation and recreation.

SECTION 24. Said section 11 of said chapter 61A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “horticultural”, in line 11, the following words:- or forest land.

SECTION 25. Said section 11 of said chapter 61A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 21, the words “from the agricultural purposes fund” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- for the farmland valuation advisory commission.

SECTION 26.
Section 12 of said chapter 61A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the second sentence the following 2 sentences:- 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 that transaction been subject to a conveyance tax. The conveyance tax shall be assessed on only that portion of land on which the use has changed.

SECTION 27.
Said section 12 of said chapter 61A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out the fourth sentence and inserting in place thereof the following 4 sentences:- Said 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. 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 to that amount 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 agricultural, horticultural or agricultural and horticultural use, no conveyance tax shall be payable by the seller by reason of the sale, but if the land is not continued in that 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 whose use has changed.

SECTION 28. Section 12 of said chapter 61A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by adding the following paragraph:-

No conveyance tax will be assessed on land that meets the definition of forest land under section 1 of chapter 61 or the definition of recreational land under section 1 of chapter 61B.

SECTION 29. Section 13 of said chapter 61A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the first and second sentences and inserting in place thereof the following 2 sentences:- Whenever land which is valued, assessed and taxed under this chapter no longer meets the definition of land actively devoted to agricultural, horticultural or agricultural and horticultural use, it shall be subject to additional taxes, in this section called roll-back taxes, in the current tax year in which it is disqualified and in those years of the 4 immediately preceding tax years in which the land was so valued, assessed and taxed, but roll-back taxes shall not apply unless the amount of those taxes as computed under this section, exceeds the amount, if any, imposed under section 12 and, in that case, the land shall not be subject to the conveyance tax imposed under said section 12. For each tax year, the roll-back tax shall be an amount equal to the difference, if any, between the taxes paid or payable for that tax year in accordance with this chapter and the taxes that would have been paid or payable in that tax year had the land been valued, assessed and taxed without regard to those provisions.

SECTION 30.
Said section 13 of said chapter 61A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by adding the following 4 paragraphs:-

Roll-back taxes will be subject to a simple interest rate of 5 per cent per annum. Land which is valued, assessed and taxed under this chapter as of July 1, 2006 shall be exempt from any interest if it remains in the same ownership as it was on that date or under the ownership of the original owner’s spouse, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister or surviving spouse of any deceased such relative.

If the board of assessors determines that the total amount of roll-back taxes to be assessed under this section, before the addition of any interest, as provided for in the preceding paragraph, would be less than $10, no tax shall be assessed.

No roll-back tax imposed by this section will be assessed on land that meets the definition of forest land under section 1 of chapter 61 or recreational land under section 1 of chapter 61B.

Land retained as open space as required for the mitigation of development shall be subject to the roll-back taxes imposed by this section.

SECTION 31. Said chapter 61A is hereby further amended by striking out section 14, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 14. Land taxed under this chapter shall not be sold for, or converted to, residential, industrial or commercial use while so taxed or within 1 year after that time unless the city or town in which the land is located has been notified of the intent to sell for, or to convert to, that other use.

The discontinuance of forest certification shall not, in itself, for the purposes of this section, be considered a conversion. Specific use of land for a residence for the owner, the owner’s spouse or a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, or brother or sister of the owner, or surviving husband or wife of any deceased such relative, or for living quarters for any persons actively employed full-time in the forest use of land, shall not be a conversion for the purposes of this section, and a certificate of the board of assessors, recorded with the registry of deeds, shall conclusively establish that particular use.

Any notice of intent to sell for other use shall be accompanied by a statement of intent to sell, a statement of proposed use of the land, the location and acreage of land as shown on a map drawn at the scale of the assessors map in the city or town in which the land is situated, and the name, address and telephone number of the landowner.

Any notice of intent to sell for other use shall be accompanied by a certified copy of an executed purchase and sale agreement specifying the purchase price and all terms and conditions of the proposed sale, which is limited to only the property classified under this chapter, and which shall be a bona fide offer as described below.

Any notice of intent to sell for other use shall also be accompanied by any additional agreements or a statement of any additional consideration for any contiguous land under the same ownership, and not classified under this chapter, but sold or to be sold contemporaneously with the proposed sale.
For the purposes of this chapter, a bona fide offer to purchase shall mean a good faith offer, not dependent upon potential changes to current zoning or conditions or contingencies relating to the potential for, or the potential extent of, subdivision of the property for residential use or the potential for, or the potential extent of development of the property for industrial or commercial use, made by a party unaffiliated with the landowner for a fixed consideration payable upon delivery of the deed.

Any notice of intent to convert to other use shall be accompanied by a statement of intent to convert, a statement of proposed use of the land, the location and acreage of land as shown on a map drawn at the scale of the assessors map in the city or town in which the land is situated, the name, address and telephone number of the landowner and the landowner’s attorney, if any.

The notice of intent to sell or convert shall be sent by the landowner by certified mail or hand delivered to the mayor and city council of a city, or board of selectmen of a town, and in the case of either a city or a town, to its board of assessors, to its planning board and conservation commission, if any, and to the state forester.

A notarized affidavit that the landowner has mailed or delivered a notice of intent to sell or convert shall be conclusive evidence that the landowner has mailed the notice in the manner and at the time specified. Each affidavit shall have attached to it a copy of the notice of intent to which it relates.
The notice of intent to sell or convert shall be considered to have been duly mailed if addressed to the mayor and city council or board of selectmen in care of the city or town clerk; to the planning board and conservation commission if addressed to them directly; to the state forester if addressed to the commissioner of the department of conservation and recreation; and to the assessors if addressed to them directly.

If the notice of intent to sell or convert does not contain all of the material described above, then the town or city, within 30 days after receipt, shall notify the landowner in writing that notice is insufficient and does not comply.

For a period of 120 days after the day following the latest date of deposit in the United States mail of any notice which complies with this section, the city or town shall have, in the case of intended sale, a first refusal option to meet a bona fide offer to purchase the land.

In the case of intended or determined conversion not involving sale, the municipality shall have an option to purchase the land at full and fair market value to be determined by an impartial appraisal performed by a certified appraiser hired at the expense of the municipality or its assignee, the original appraisal to be completed and delivered to the landowner within 30 days after the notice of conversion to the municipality. In the event that the landowner is dissatisfied with the original appraisal, the landowner may, at the landowner’s expense, contract for a second appraisal, to be completed within 60 days after the delivery of the notice to convert. If, after completion of the second appraisal, the parties cannot agree on a consideration, the parties will contract with a mutually acceptable appraiser for a third appraisal whose cost will be borne equally by both parties. The third appraisal shall be delivered to both parties within 90 days after the notice of conversion to the municipality and shall be the final determination of consideration. Upon agreement of a consideration, the city or town shall then have 120 days to exercise its option. During the appraisal process, the landowner may revoke the intent to convert at any time and with no recourse to either party.

The option may be exercised only after a public hearing followed by written notice signed by the mayor or board of selectmen, mailed to the landowner by certified mail at the address that is specified in the notice of intent. Notice of public hearing shall be given in accordance with section 23B of chapter 39.
The notice of exercise shall also be recorded at the registry of deeds and shall contain the name of the record owner of the land and description of the premises adequate for identification of them.

The notice to the landowner of the city or town’s election to exercise its option shall be accompanied by a proposed purchase and sale contract or other agreement between the city or town and the landowner which, if executed, shall be fulfilled within a period of not more than 90 days after the date the contract or agreement, endorsed by the landowner, is returned by certified mail to the mayor or board of selectmen, or upon expiration of any extended period that the landowner has agreed to in writing, whichever is later.

At the public hearing or a further public hearing, the city or town may assign its option to a nonprofit conservation organization or to the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions under the terms and conditions that the mayor or board of selectmen may consider appropriate. Notice of public hearing shall be given in accordance with section 23B of chapter 39.

The assignment shall be for the purpose of maintaining no less than 70 per cent of the land in use as forest land as defined in section 1, as agricultural and horticultural land as defined in sections 1 and 2 of chapter 61A or as recreation land as defined in section 1 of chapter 61B, and in no case shall the assignee develop a greater proportion of the land than was proposed by the developer whose offer gave rise to the assignment. All land other than land that is to be developed shall then be bound by a permanent deed restriction that meets the requirements of chapter 184.

If the first refusal option has been assigned to a nonprofit conservation organization or to the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions as provided in this section, the mayor or board of selectmen shall provide written notice of assignment to the landowner.

The notice of assignment shall state the name and address of the organization or agency of the commonwealth which will exercise the option in addition to the terms and conditions of the assignment. The notice of assignment shall be recorded with the registry of deeds.

Failure to record either the notice of exercise or the notice of assignment within the 120 day period shall be conclusive evidence that the city or town has not exercised its option.

If the option has been assigned to a nonprofit conservation organization or to the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions, the option may be exercised by the assignee only by written notice to the landowner signed by the assignee, mailed to the landowner by certified mail at the address that is specified in the notice of intent. The notice of exercise shall also be recorded with the registry of deeds and shall contain the name of the record owner of the land and description of the premises adequate for identification of them.

The notice of exercise to the landowner shall be accompanied by a proposed purchase and sale contract or other agreement between the assignee and landowner which, if executed, shall be fulfilled within a period of not more than 90 days, or upon expiration of any extended period the landowner has agreed to in writing, from the date the contract or agreement, endorsed by the landowner, is returned by certified mail to the assignee.

During the 120 day period, the city or town or its assignees, shall have the right, at reasonable times and upon reasonable notice, to enter upon the land for the purpose of surveying and inspecting the land, including, but not limited to, soil testing for purposes of Title V and the taking of water samples.

The city or town or its assignee shall have all rights assigned to the buyer in the purchase and sale agreement contained in the notice of intent.

If the city or town elects not to exercise the option, and not to assign its right to exercise the option, the city or town shall send written notice of nonexercise, signed by the mayor or board of selectmen, to the landowner by certified mail at the address that is specified in the notice of intent. The notice of nonexercise shall contain the name of the owner of record of the land and description of the premises adequate for identification of them and shall be recorded with the registry of deeds.

No sale or conversion of the land shall be consummated until the option period has expired or the notice of nonexercise has been recorded with the registry of deeds, and no sale of the land shall be consummated if the terms of the sale differ in any material way from the terms of the purchase and sale agreement which accompanied the bona fide offer to purchase as described in the notice of intent to sell except as provided in this section.

This section shall not apply to a mortgage foreclosure sale, but the holder of a mortgage shall, at least 90 days before a foreclosure sale, send written notice of the time and place of the sale to the parties in the manner described in this section for notice of intent to sell or convert, and the giving of notice may be established by an affidavit as described in this section.

SECTION 32. Section 16 of said chapter 61A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “land”, in line 9, the following words:- for the previous 5 years.

SECTION 33. Section 18 of said chapter 61A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 6 to 7, inclusive, the words “and interest on account of such suspended special assessments or betterment assessments”.

SECTION 34. Section 18 of said chapter 61A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out the third sentence.

SECTION 35. Said section 18 of said chapter 61A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in lines 14, 19 and 22, the words “including interest”.

SECTION 36. Said section 18 of said chapter 61A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by adding the following paragraph:-

Payment of the assessment and interest on it shall be made in accordance with section 13 of chapter 80, but any interest shall be computed from the date of the change in use.

SECTION 37. Section 19 of said chapter 61A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 9, the word “sixty” and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- 30.

SECTION 38. Section 1 of chapter 61B of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 3, the words “landscaped condition” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- landscaped or pasture condition or in a managed forest condition under a certified forest management plan approved by and subject to procedures established by the state forester.

SECTION 39. Said section 1 of said chapter 61B, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out the words “and target shooting”, in line 17, and inserting in place thereof the following words:- , target shooting and commercial horseback riding and equine boarding.

SECTION 40.
Said chapter 61B is hereby further amended by inserting after section 2 the following section:-
Section 2A. In a city or town that accepts this section, the rate of tax applicable to recreational land shall be the rate determined to be applicable to class two, open space.

SECTION 41. Section 4 of said chapter 61B, as appearing in the 2004 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 2 and 3, the words “December thirty-first” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- June thirtieth.

SECTION 42. Section 6 of said chapter 61B, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:-

All recording fees paid under this chapter whether for statements of liens, certificates, releases or otherwise shall be borne by the owner of record of the land.

SECTION 43.
Section 7 of said chapter 61B, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the fourth sentence and inserting in place thereof the following 6 sentences:- 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. 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 recreational use, no conveyance tax shall be payable by the seller by reason of the sale, but if the land is not continued in that 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 only on the portion of land whose use has changed. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, no conveyance tax shall be assessed if the land involved, or a lesser interest in the 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 for or converted to commercial, residential, or industrial use within 5 years of 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 only on the portion of land whose use has changed.

SECTION 44. The second paragraph of said section 7 of said chapter 61B, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting before the first sentence the following sentence:- Except with respect to eminent domain takings, this section shall not apply 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 pursuant to a merger of a corporation or by a subsidiary corporation to a parent corporation for no consideration other than cancellation and surrender of capital stock of the subsidiary which do not change beneficial ownership; and property transferred by devise or other as a result of death.

SECTION 45.
Said section 7 of said chapter 61B, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by adding the following paragraph:-

Notwithstanding this section, no conveyance tax imposed by this section will be assessed on land that meets the definition of forest land under section 1 of chapter 61 or the definition of agricultural land under sections 1 and 3 of chapter 61A or the definition of horticultural land under sections 2 and 3 of chapter 61A.

SECTION 46.
Section 8 of said chapter 61B, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the first and second sentences and inserting in place thereof the following 3 sentences:- Whenever land which is valued, assessed and taxed under this chapter no longer meets the definition of recreational use, it shall be subject to additional taxes, in this section called roll-back taxes, in the current tax year in which it is disqualified and in each of the 4 immediately preceding tax years in which the land was so valued, assessed and taxed, but the roll-back taxes shall not apply unless the amount of the taxes, as computed under this section, exceeds the amount, if any, imposed under section 7 and, in that case, the land shall not be subject to the conveyance tax imposed under said section 7. For each tax year, the roll-back tax shall be equal to the difference, if any, between the taxes paid or payable for that tax year in accordance with this chapter and the taxes that would have been paid or payable had the land been valued, assessed and taxed without regard to these provisions. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, no roll-back taxes shall be assessed if the land involved, or a lesser interest in the 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, roll-back taxes 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 the transaction been subject to a roll-back tax.

SECTION 47. Said section 8 of said chapter 61B, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out the last paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following 3 paragraphs:-

Interest on roll-back taxes shall be payable and shall be computed as simple interest at 5 per cent per annum. If the board of assessors determines that the total amount of the roll-back taxes to be assessed under this section, before the addition of any interest as provided for in the preceding paragraph, would be less than $10, no tax shall be assessed.

No roll-back tax imposed by this section will be assessed on land that meets the definition of forest land under section 1 of chapter 61, agricultural land under sections 1 and 3 of chapter 61A, or horticultural land under sections 2 and 3 of chapter 61A.

Land retained as open space as required for the mitigation of a development shall be subject to the roll-back taxes imposed by this section.

SECTION 48. Said chapter 61B is hereby further amended by striking out section 9, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 9. Land taxed under this chapter shall not be sold for, or converted to, residential, industrial or commercial use while so taxed or within 1 year after that time unless the city or town in which the land is located has been notified of the intent to sell for, or to convert to, that other use.

The discontinuance of forest certification shall not, in itself, for the purposes of this section, be considered a conversion. Specific use of land for a residence for the owner, the owner’s spouse or a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, or brother or sister of the owner, or surviving husband or wife of any deceased such relative, or for living quarters for any persons actively employed full-time in the forest use of such land, shall not be a conversion for the purposes of this section, and a certificate of the board of assessors, recorded with the registry of deeds, shall conclusively establish that particular use.

Any notice of intent to sell for such other use shall be accompanied by a statement of intent to sell, a statement of proposed use of the land, the location and acreage of land as shown on a map drawn at the scale of the assessors map in the city or town in which the land is situated, and the name, address and telephone number of the landowner.

Any notice of intent to sell for other use shall be accompanied by a certified copy of an executed purchase and sale agreement specifying the purchase price and all terms and conditions of the proposed sale, which is limited to only the property classified under this chapter, and which shall be a bona fide offer as described below.

Any notice of intent to sell for other use shall also be accompanied by any additional agreements or a statement of any additional consideration for any contiguous land under the same ownership, and not classified under this chapter, but sold or to be sold contemporaneously with the proposed sale.
For the purposes of this chapter, a bona fide offer to purchase shall mean a good faith offer, not dependent upon potential changes to current zoning or conditions or contingencies relating to the potential for, or the potential extent of, subdivision of the property for residential use or the potential for, or the potential extent of development of the property for industrial or commercial use, made by a party unaffiliated with the landowner for a fixed consideration payable upon delivery of the deed.

Any notice of intent to convert to other use shall be accompanied by a statement of intent to convert, a statement of proposed use of such land, the location and acreage of land as shown on a map drawn at the scale of the assessors map in the city or town in which the land is situated, the name, address and telephone number of the landowner and the landowner’s attorney, if any.

The notice of intent to sell or convert shall be sent by the landowner by certified mail or hand delivered to the mayor and city council of a city, or board of selectmen of a town, and in the case of either a city or a town, to its board of assessors, to its planning board and conservation commission, if any, and to the state forester.

A notarized affidavit that the landowner has mailed or delivered a notice of intent to sell or convert shall be conclusive evidence that the landowner has mailed the notice in the manner and at the time specified. Each affidavit shall have attached to it a copy of the notice of intent to which it relates.

The notice of intent to sell or convert shall be considered to have been duly mailed if addressed to the mayor and city council or board of selectmen in care of the city or town clerk; to the planning board and conservation commission if addressed to them directly; to the state forester if addressed to the commissioner of the department of conservation and recreation and to the assessors if addressed to them directly.

If the notice of intent to sell or convert does not contain all of the material as described above, then the town or city, within 30 days after receipt, shall notify the landowner in writing that notice is insufficient and does not comply.

For a period of 120 days after the day following the latest date of deposit in the United States mail of any notice which complies with this section, the city or town shall have, in the case of intended sale, a first refusal option to meet a bona fide offer to purchase the land.

In the case of intended or determined conversion not involving sale, the municipality shall have an option to purchase the land at full and fair market value to be determined by an impartial appraisal performed by a certified appraiser hired at the expense of the municipality or its assignee, the original appraisal to be completed and delivered to the landowner within 30 days after the notice of conversion to the municipality. In the event that the landowner is dissatisfied with the original appraisal, the landowner may, at the landowner’s expense contract for a second appraisal, to be completed within 60 days after the delivery of the notice to convert. If, after completion of the second appraisal, the parties cannot agree on a consideration, the parties will contract with a mutually acceptable appraiser for a third appraisal whose cost will be borne equally by both parties. The third appraisal shall be delivered to both parties within 90 days after the notice of conversion to the municipality and shall be the final determination of consideration. Upon agreement of a consideration, the city or town shall then have 120 days to exercise its option. During the appraisal process, the landowner may revoke the intent to convert at any time and with no recourse to either party.

The option may be exercised only after a public hearing followed by written notice signed by the mayor or board of selectmen, mailed to the landowner by certified mail at the address that is specified in the notice of intent. Notice of the public hearing shall be given in accordance with section 23B of chapter 39.
The notice of exercise shall also be recorded at the registry of deeds and shall contain the name of the record owner of the land and description of the premises adequate for identification of them.

The notice to the landowner of the city or town’s election to exercise its option shall be accompanied by a proposed purchase and sale contract or other agreement between the city or town and the landowner which, if executed, shall be fulfilled within a period of not more than 90 days after the date the contract or agreement, endorsed by the landowner, is returned by certified mail to the mayor or board of selectmen, or upon expiration of any extended period that the landowner has agreed to in writing, whichever is later.

At the public hearing or a further public hearing, the city or town may assign its option to a nonprofit conservation organization or to the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions under the terms and conditions that the mayor or board of selectmen may consider appropriate. Notice of the public hearing shall be given in accordance with section 23B of chapter 39.

The assignment shall be for the purpose of maintaining no less than 70 per cent of the land in use as forest land as defined in section 1 of this chapter, as agricultural and horticultural land as defined in sections 1 and 2 of chapter 61A or as recreation land as defined in section 1 of chapter 61B, and in no case shall the assignee develop a greater proportion of the land than was proposed by the developer whose offer gave rise to the assignment. All land other than land that is to be developed shall then be bound by a permanent deed restriction that meets the requirements of chapter 184.

If the first refusal option has been assigned to a nonprofit conservation organization or to the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions as provided in this section, the mayor or board of selectmen shall provide written notice of assignment to the landowner.

The notice of assignment shall state the name and address of the organization or agency of the commonwealth which will exercise the option in addition to the terms and conditions of the assignment. The notice of assignment shall be recorded with the registry of deeds.

Failure to record either the notice of exercise or the notice of assignment within the 120 day period shall be conclusive evidence that the city or town has not exercised its option.

If the option has been assigned to a nonprofit conservation organization or to the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions, the option may be exercised by the assignee only by written notice to the landowner signed by the assignee, mailed to the landowner by certified mail at the address that is specified in the notice of intent.

The notice of exercise shall also be recorded with the registry of deeds and shall contain the name of the record owner of the land and description of the premises adequate for identification of them.

The notice of exercise to the landowner shall be accompanied by a proposed purchase and sale contract or other agreement between the assignee and landowner which, if executed, shall be fulfilled within a period of not more than 90 days, or upon expiration of any extended period that the landowner has agreed to in writing, from the date the contract or agreement, endorsed by the landowner, is returned by certified mail to the assignee.

During the 120 day period, the city or town or its assignees, shall have the right, at reasonable times and upon reasonable notice, to enter upon the land for the purpose of surveying and inspecting said land, including but not limited to soil testing for purposes of Title V and the taking of water samples.

The city or town or its assignee shall have all rights assigned to the buyer in the purchase and sales agreement contained in the notice of intent.

If the city or town elects not to exercise the option, and not to assign its right to exercise the option, the city or town shall send written notice of nonexercise signed by the mayor or board of selectmen to the landowner by certified mail at the address that is specified in the notice of intent. The notice of nonexercise shall contain the name of the owner of record of the land and description of the premises adequate for identification of them, and shall be recorded with the registry of deeds.

No sale or conversion of the land shall be consummated until the option period has expired or the notice of nonexercise has been recorded with the registry of deeds, and no sale of the land shall be consummated if the terms of the sale differ in any material way from the terms of the purchase and sale agreement which accompanied the bona fide offer to purchase as described in the notice of intent to sell except as provided herein.

This section shall not apply to a mortgage foreclosure sale, but the holder of a mortgage shall, at least 90 days before a foreclosure sale, send written notice of the time and place of the sale to the parties in the manner described in this section for notice of intent to sell or convert, and the giving of that notice may be established by an affidavit as described in this section.

SECTION 49. Section 11 of said chapter 61B, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “land”, in line 9, the following words:- for the previous 5 years.

SECTION 50. Section 13 of said chapter 61B, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the last sentence and inserting in place thereof the following 6 sentences:- This assessment shall, however, upon application, be suspended during the time the land is in classified recreational use and shall become due and payable as of the date when the use of the land is changed. Payment of the assessment and interest on it shall be made in accordance with section 13 of chapter 80, but the interest shall be computed from the date of the change in use. If only a portion of a tract of land which benefits from a suspension of payment is changed from that use, the assessment shall become due and payable as of the date when the use was changed only to the extent of and in the proportion that the frontage of that portion bears to the street frontage of the entire tract of land which originally benefited from a suspension of payment. Upon receipt of full payment of a portion of a suspended assessment, the tax collector shall dissolve the lien for the assessment insofar as it affects the portion of the land changed from recreational use. The lien for the portion of the original assessment which remains unpaid shall continue and remain in full force and effect until dissolved in accordance with law. A request for this release shall be made in writing to the tax collector and shall be accompanied by a plan and other information that is required in the case of a request for a division of an assessment under section 10.

SECTION 51.
Land classified as forest land under chapter 61 of the General Laws before the first tax filing date after the effective date of this act shall be exempt from section 6 of said chapter 61, inserted by section 16 of this act, until that land has been transferred to another owner.

Approved December 22, 2006.


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