Current Use Debate Moves to Senate: H.485
As part of the fiscal belt tightening efforts, lawmakers are looking to the use value appraisal program, commonly known as current use, for several million dollars. Early in the 2010 Session, the House passed H.485. The main features of this bill are a one year moratorium on new enrollment into Current Use, an improvement of the tax provisions applied to land removed from current use for development, and a one-time appropriation to help bring the program into the electronic era. Smart Growth Vermont has serious concerns about the enrollment moratorium.
The Senate Finance Committee is considering the bill and we are urging the Senate to reject the enrollment moratorium and to find other solutions to secure needed savings. They are reviewing a proposal to eliminate the moratorium and instead apply a small surcharge on all current use properties. Around the state, we hear from farmers and foresters that this is an important program to support our working landscape. Please share your thoughts and concerns for the future of Current Use.