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Conservation fund is where 100% of land use change tax belongs

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,

I read in The Sun that the Sanbornton Conservation Committee has proposed putting 100 percent of the land use change tax into their land conservation fund. Gilford has been doing that for years, now, and it is because our voters had the foresight to agree to a similar article that we have been able to protect approximately 1,000 acres of our key natural resources while assuring our goals to keep our rural character.

Pretty obvious that the price of land is expensive and will only escalate in the future, so voting in favor of this proposal will give much needed funds to help meet Sanbornton's desire to also remain a rural community. The money comes from large parcels that landowners have enjoyed significant tax breaks for years because they have been held under current use. When land is pulled out of current use for development, the tax is 10 percent of the value. Towns have recognized that it only makes sense that with major losses of large tracts of land to development, it is imperative to put that small amount of tax money into their land conservation fund to try to protect critical natural resources without asking for money from taxpayers. The other plus for for putting 100 percent of the money into the land conservation fund is that it can be used as required matching funds for important land conservation grants, thereby doubling the purchasing power.

There aren't many avenues where we can help provide a lasting and important benefit to this world, but land conservation is certainly right at the top.

To Sanbornton voters, please support your local Conservation Commission's efforts to receive 100 percent of the land use change tax so they will have the much needed funds to protect your most critical natural resources and help maintain that beautiful rural character that make Sanbornton such a beautiful scenic community.

Everett McLaughlin