Oregon Forest Homeowners' Association
Generations of family and friends in Oregon’s forests.
Stewards and conservationists of Oregon’s forests.
Preserving and protecting Oregon’s Forest Service cabins.
Leaving a legacy in Oregon’s forests
for the next generation of cabin users.
House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) on March 14th introduced H.R. 1159, the Cabin Fee Act of 2013.
H.R. 1159 is identical to H.R. 3397, the 2012 Cabin Fee Act, which passed the House of Representatives last September. The only exception is a slightly modified fee table (as approved earlier by the C-2 cabin coalition) to accommodate what we believe will be necessary to satisfy the Congressional Budget Office.
If all goes well, H.R. 1159 will have a "markup" by the NR Committee within the next week. A CBO report on the bill should be forthcoming soon after the markup. Then a vote will be sought next month on the stand alone bill by the full House. Following House passage, the bill will go directly to the desk of the Senate Majority Leader, where it could be brought up at any time for a vote unless the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee exercises its jurisdiction over the bill.
In case the bill is referred to the Senate ENR Committee, we are concurrently working closely with committee staff to resolve any concerns they may have with the bill.
Further developments regarding the Cabin Fee Act of 2013 will be posted on the NFH website.
Please check the NFH website (http://www.nationalforesthomeowners.org/) regularly for further information about the latest CFA developments in 2013 and how you can help advance the cause.
WHAT CAN YOU DO WHEN THE TIME COMES?
Contact our Senators and your Congressperson. Let them know we appreciate their support and want the Cabin Fee Act legislation passed in this new Congress.
Senator Ron Wyden contact information:
Address: 221 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5244
Senator Jeff Merkley
Address: 313 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3753
Website to find your Representative: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
Also, if you can help support these efforts financially, the NFHA could use additional funds for the lobbying efforts. For more information on how to help go to the NFHA website at: http://nationalforesthomeowners.org/ . If we all work together, hopefully we will have a better and fairer permit fee system in the future.
Legislative and Taxing Issues
There are several legislative initiatives in Salem that OFHA is carefully watching. The direction and process of legislation is very dynamic with changes occurring daily. At critical times OFHA will send email Issue alerts to our members with a description of the issue and with a request for specific action for our members to take.
Several of the concerns in Salem revolve around new fees that walk like a tax, sound like a tax, and smell like a tax.
Senate Bill 217 is one such bill. It imposes an annual management fee on water rights. It dedicates the management fee moneys for use in carrying out the activities of the Water Resources Department involving water rights management. The implementation date (if passed) begins July 1, 2013. (Oregon Senate Bill 217 link: http://www.leg.state.or.us/13reg/measpdf/sb0200.dir/sb0217.intro.pdf )
News article related to water rights fee: http://www.martenlaw.com/newsletter/20130116-oregon-water-rights-fee-proposed
We encourage you all to establish a dialogue with your state Senator and Representative. To find your Representative/Senator at the state and local level go to: http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/
Talking points on SB 217: -SB 217 is not in the best interest of either you as a cabin owner or the state as a whole. -It has already strained the limited legal resources of our state in its legislative form. -It creates another bureaucratic institution within the Water Resource Department for enforcement and collection. -It will affect all water use; even that considered “exempt”.
On the county level, there is a concern that property taxes are not limited to the improvements on the lands we have permits to occupy. You may have seen a huge increase in the Real Market Value stated on your county tax statement. These values may have been derived from recorded sales of cabins. It has come to our attention that the county assessors may be placing all the recorded sales values on your tax bill as the value of the improvement. In reality, the sales values need to be divided between the improvement and the right to transfer the permit to the buyer. The sale price of a cabin at you tract that is torn down to make way for a new cabin cannot be dedicated to the improvement. A recorded cabin sale does not reflect the value of the improvement alone. When a recent sale includes the reality of the new owner removing the purchased cabin, there is a huge percentage of the sale value that should be dedicated to the transfer of the permit. This value is not taxable.
OFHA is attentive to this county tax issue and is involved with discussions between cabin owners and counties. Please let us know what your own tax history is with your county. Share your concerns.
Questions: Please call Bill Kennedy 541-891-1794
The challenge is getting new information and photos together in a meaningful presentation and putting it on our site. There is plenty of good information to share including current political directions in Congress, in Salem and in our specific forests. People want to know about the success with the Wild land-Urban Interface treatments that create a healthy forest and reduce catastrophic fires. We also try to keep everyone updated as to the newest information on the Cabin Fee Act and C2 effort which has been on-going these past couple of years. There are changes in these topics, sometimes on a weekly basis.
We also want more variety for our website. So now, I encourage you to get engaged. Here is my advocacy to you. Please think about interesting stories you can write to share with other cabin owners. How did your tract association's Pancake Breakfast or Roadside Cleanup event go last weekend? What does it mean to see one of your loved ones wander off and take that last walk in the woods? How about that great recipe that someone brought to the Homeowner's Association potluck? Have you read a recent book on the history of the forest in your area that others might enjoy?
So, please give us a helping hand.
Provide us with cabin stories.
Provide us with your perspective on a topic.
Provide us with book recommendations, especially related to cabins,
forests or nature.
Provide us with photos or cabin-winning recipes.
Provide us with a little bit so we can share it with everyone!
Our best wishes to you and your families.