Session Law

2014

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Chapter 247 AN ACT MAKING CORRECTIVE CHANGES IN CERTAIN LAWS REGARDING THE TAXATION OF FOREST, FARM AND RECREATIONAL 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.  Section 2 of chapter 61 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 36 and 37,  the words “prior to” and inserting in place thereof, in each instance, the following words:-  not later than.
     SECTION 2.  Section 3 of said chapter 61, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the third paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following 2 paragraphs:-
     For general property tax purposes, the factual details to be shown on the tax list of a board of assessors with respect to land which is valued, assessed and taxed under this chapter shall be the same as those set forth by the assessors with respect to other taxable property in the same city or town and 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 said chapter 60.  The assessment, collection, apportionment and payment over of the roll-back taxes imposed by section 7 shall be governed by the procedures provided for the assessment and taxation of omitted property under section 75 of chapter 59.  Such procedures shall apply to each tax year that roll-back taxes may be imposed notwithstanding the limitation in said chapter 59 with respect to the periods that omitted property assessments may be imposed.
     Any person aggrieved by an assessment by the board of assessors under this chapter may, within 30 days of the date of notice thereof, apply in writing to the assessors for abatement thereof. Any person aggrieved by the refusal of the assessors to make such an abatement or by the assessor’s failure to act upon such an application may appeal to the appellate tax board within 30 days after the date of notice of the assessor’s decision or within 3 months of the date of the application, whichever date is later.  It shall be a condition of such appeal, with respect to the annual general property tax, that the asserted tax be paid, but no payment shall be required as a condition of such appeal with respect to any asserted conveyance tax or roll-back tax.  If a payment of any tax imposed by this chapter should be made and as a result of such abatement by the board of assessors or decision by the appellate tax board, it shall appear that such tax has been overpaid, such excess payment shall be reimbursed by the town treasurer with interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum from the time of payment.  Collection of conveyance or roll-back taxes, by sale or taking or otherwise, may be stayed by the appellate tax board while such an appeal is pending.  A partial payment of the asserted tax that may be required by the appellate tax board in connection with such stay shall not exceed 1/2 of the asserted tax.
     SECTION 3.  The first paragraph of section 7 of said chapter 61, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:- Notwithstanding this paragraph, 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; provided, however, that 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 4.  The first paragraph of section 13 of chapter 61A of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the second sentence the following sentence:-  Notwithstanding this paragraph, 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; provided, however, that 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 5.  Section 14 of said chapter 61A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 6, the words “forest certification” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- agricultural or horticultural use.
     SECTION 6.  Section 8 of chapter 61B of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 26, the word “ten” and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- 5.
     SECTION 7.  Section 9 of said chapter 61B, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 6, the words “forest certification” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- recreational use.
     SECTION 8.  Section 14 of said chapter 61B, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 9, the word “sixty” and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- 30.

Approved, August 6, 2014.