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New information added on January 20, 2009

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State News

  • Jason Knox"Property Rights Update from Washington, D.C." - By Jason Knox, Esq., Legislative Staffer, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.; Twelfth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 18, 2008)
    The environmentalists are using legislation against energy transmission corridors. They're promoting Heritage Areas and wilderness designations as "economic redevelopment" while eliminating good-paying jobs. The urban Taunton Wild and Scenic River is meant to stop a gas pipeline. The 1,082-page resources omnibus bill would tie up 2 million acres as wilderness, including 1.2 million acres in Wyoming to stop use of gas and oil resources. The National Land Conservation System would codify Clinton/Gore National Monument designations. Right now, focus on energy. Make your voice heard on land use issues, project by project. Freedom of Information requests are a powerful tool.
    More on this topic: Government Obstruction of Energy Production & Distribution — National
  • "Flying High without PILOTs: Town of Brookline's Use of a Ground Lease to Thwart Property Tax Exemption for a Charitable Non-profit" - By Arshag A. Mazmanian, Esq. , October 1, 2007
    The Town of Brookline, Massachusetts, granted a re-zoning to accommodate a non-conforming structure proposed by a non-profit, while the Town concurrently acquired the property for ground-leaseback to a developer so that this entity could collect then rent on the sublet ground lease to the non-profit. The portion of the rent equivalent to the real estate taxes that would have been paid if the land were both owned and occupied by a non-charitable entity is paid by the developer to the Town. The Town thereby evades the situation of receiving minimal revenue through PILOTs (payment in lieu of taxes), at most, by a tax-exempt property owner.
    More on this topic: Zoning and Buliding Codes — National
  • Carol W. LaGrasse"New Wave of UNESCO World Heritage Sites Proposed" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA Position Brief, June 2007)
    This spring, the National Park Service announced that 36 locations in the United States have been proposed for UNESCO World Heritage Sites, adding to the twenty that already are designated in this country. Such international recognition potentially threatens private property rights because preservationists could exploit the designation to stop the use of land in the region just beyond a site's borders.
    More on this topic: Biosphere Reserves & World Heritage Sites
  • "Unjustified Privileges of Environmental Non-Profits" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, The Rhodes Real Estate Review, January 1999. Reprinted by permission.
    Marie and Joe Hill were destroyed by the results of an environmentalist campaign to preserve their Massachusetts farm to the group's tastes. Another land preservation group, Scenic Hudson, has tied up the future of a family-owned concrete block plant in New York, and cost the owner over $2 million on permits, in the name of protecting nearby rattlesnakes.
    More on this topic: Land Trusts
  • "Preservation Group Straps Massachusetts Farm Couple" — By Carol W. LaGrasse (Reprinted from the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Spring-Summer 1997, PRFA)
    Bankruptcy court appeal may be the final chapter for Marie and Joseph Hill, an elderly couple who are being evicted from their scenic dairy farm in South Dartmouth on Buzzard's Bay, after losing a battle with a local preservation group, FORM.
    More on this topic: Land Trusts

The front of the Hill Dairy Farm.

Hill Farm
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