House Bill Standardizing Fees for Recreation Residences

Here’s the link, below is an excerpt..

The House Natural Resources Committee last week reported the Cabin Fee Act of 2011 (H.R. 3397), which would standardize the fee structure. The committee approved the bill last November but waited till now to officially send it to the House floor for a vote.

Owners would only have to pay $100 a year “if access to a cabin is significantly impaired, either by natural causes or governmental actions, such that the cabin is rendered unsafe or unable to be occupied,” according to the committee report on the bill.

And when someone sells a cabin or transfers title, the government would collect a transfer fee.

The U.S. Forest Service has always collected fees from cabin owners but in a haphazard manner that did not accurately reflect their valuation – sometimes more than $10,000. And many owners couldn’t afford them.

The bill would set a structure of fees ranging from $500 to $4,500 per year.

The transfer fee would consist of $1,000 for all sales and transfers plus an additional five percent on prices between $250,000 and $500,000, and an additional 10 percent on sale amounts exceeding $500,000.

Companion legislation (S. 1906) is pending before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests, which conducted a hearing in March. Here is a link to the bill.

Note from Sharon: I wonder about the causes of what the reporter (or the Congressfolk) terms “haphazard” .. there is a great deal of political pressure not to increase the fees by recreation residencers, but the FS is attempting to implement regulations, which are conceivably based on the intent of Congress and probably have some kind of deadline to collect the currently appropriate fees. I wonder if there is more to this story, and about the perspectives of people who contribute to this blog on recreation residences and fees?

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