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Current Use Forums Slated

Like most Vermonters, you probably care deeply about Vermont’s farms and forests, our “working lands.”

Right now, state lawmakers are mulling changes to one of the key state tax policies – Current Use – that for decades has helped farmers and forestland owners be able to resist economic pressure to chop up their land and develop it. As they consider changes to the program, legislators are holding forums in the coming weeks across the state, and we need your help as we support targeted changes to this important program. 

VNRC supports improving Current Use by making it harder for people to abuse the program by “parking” land – that is, enrolling land for a short time, taking advantage of the tax break for financial gain, then developing the property.

In order to curb this activity, and to ensure stable funding for continuing enrollment in Current Use, VNRC – along with several other farm, forest and conservation organizations – supports increasing the penalty for landowners that withdraw their property from the program. You can read more on VNRC’s view here.

Last year, the House passed a bill that would improve Current Use by addressing this “parking” concern. The legislation is now in the Senate, and Senators are holding these upcoming forums listed below to hear from Vermonters. (All forums run from 7-9 pm.)

VNRC and Current Use go way back. Some 35 years ago, VNRC staff helped create the program, and since then, VNRC has been a vocal and consistent supporter of Current Use, and we want to assure it has a bright future.

That’s why we are asking for your help, to join us in urging lawmakers make it harder to “park” land temporarily, and to put Current Use on firm financial footing into the future.

Hearing Schedule

September 24, Barton
Lake Region Union High School

October 1st, St Albans
Bellows Free Academy

October 8th, Ferrisburgh
Ferrisburgh Central School

October 15th, Springfield
Riverside Middle School

Please mark your calendar now – and for more information, please contact Jamey Fidel, VNRC’s forest and wildlife program director.