By appointment during these hours:
Tuesday Wednesday, and Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Last Saturday of the month, 9 a.m. to noon.
Current Use is a state program that is designed to preserve open space by providing tax breaks for landowners who do not convert their property into residential or commercial uses. The minimum amount of land that can be put into current use is 10 acres. You are allowed to exclude a portion of your parcel immediately around your house and put the rest into current use.
Once parcels are in current use, the landowners’ property taxes are reduced by varying amounts, depending on the level of stewardship they undertake. For example, someone who hires a forester to develop a timber management plan gets a larger tax break than someone who lets the parcel remain unmanaged. In addition to timber production, current use is designed to encourage outdoor recreation, conservation, and agriculture.
If you have just purchased your property and have been told by the previous owners that it is “in current use,” but they did not provide you with any further information, you may wish to:
If your parcel is not in the Current Use program and it is larger than 10 acres, then you may file an application. This must be done before April 15 to the application to be processed for the current year. The forms and instructions are available from the NH Department of Revenue Administration.
Any owner of land who meets the qualifications set forth in RSA 79-A may apply.
The tract or contiguous tract must total 10 acres. The exceptions are: wetland, certified tree farms, and agricultural land producing $2,500 of income on an annual basis.
The tract must meet the requirements of one of the current use categories: farm land, forest land and for unproductive/wetland.
No buildings, appurtenances, or other improvements are allowed on the portion of the tract for which current use is applied.
The landowner must submit a completed current use application, A-10.
A map of the tract showing the acreage going into current use as well as the acreage remaining out of current use must accompany the application. The map must show the current use categories being applied for.
If applicable, the Soil Potential Index and / or a Forest Stewardship Plan may accompany the application. The application must be filed by April 15th of the tax year.
Reports of Cut must be filed with the Town of Wilmot within 60 days of completion of the logging operation or May 15, whichever comes first.
Every bit of Wilmot, excepting perhaps the very steepest slopes, has been logged in the past, often more than once. According to the Wilmot Conservation Commission’s Natural Resource Inventory (2006), 87.9% of Wilmot was forested in 1993. By 2006, this number had declined to 82.9%, mostly due to the expansion of subdivisions. However, 58.5% of the town’s forested land is in unfragmented blocks of at least 500 acres. That is, the forest is uninterrupted by roads, dwellings, or other types of human use.
Also according to the Natural Resource Inventory, “[A] Colby-Sawyer study identified sixty-five parcels totaling 6,743 acres that were being managed for timber, looking at only lots larger than 50 acres. The study found that a relatively small number of the lands had a stewardship plan, either through Tree Farm certification or a management plan prepared by a licensed NH forester. According to Tree Farm data maintained by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, there are eight properties in Wilmot that are listed as tree farms with a total acreage of 1,348 acres. The largest parcel is listed as 304 acres and the next largest is 235 acres.”
If you buy a forested parcel, your first impulse might not be to cut down the trees. But some reading and some talking to people about forestry and land stewardship in general might convince you otherwise. Here are some resources:
Should you decide to log your land, it is necessary to file paperwork with the town, which will lead to paperwork with the state, specifically the Timber office of the Department of Revenue Administration. Timber is regarded as real estate in New Hampshire and you pay a yield tax when you cut it down and sell it.
The largest deposits of gravel in Wilmot are in the valleys of Cascade and Frazier brooks. Post-glacial damming of the Blackwater and Kearsarge valleys by moraines created temporary lakes and braided streams that allowed sediment that eroded off the surrounding uplands to be sorted in standing bodies of water and rivers. Consequently, there are extensive lenses of sand and gravel there that were once beaches and bars in now vanished water bodies. There are also sand and gravel deposits of post-glacial origin elsewhere in town, but they are less extensive than the ones along Cascade and Frazier brooks.
Permits to excavate must be submitted annually before March 31.
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