HB1697 (2024) Detail

(New Title) relative to forest carbon credit programs.


HB 1697-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE

 

22Feb2024... 0482h

2024 SESSION

24-3134

08/10

 

HOUSE BILL 1697-FN

 

AN ACT relative to forest carbon credit programs.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. A. Davis, Coos 2; Rep. Ouellet, Coos 3; Rep. Tierney, Coos 1; Rep. S. King, Coos 4; Rep. Cascadden, Coos 5; Rep. Noel, Coos 5

 

COMMITTEE: Science, Technology and Energy

 

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AMENDED ANALYSIS

 

This bill:

 

I.  Requires the department of revenue administration to conduct a study of the issues related to lost timber tax revenue as a result of forest lands located within New Hampshire being enrolled in carbon credit offset programs.

 

II.  Requires the division of forestry to establish and maintain a public registry of all forest lands enrolled in a carbon program.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

22Feb2024... 0482h 24-3134

08/10

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty Four

 

AN ACT relative to forest carbon credit programs.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Department of Revenue Administration; Timber Tax.  The department of revenue administration shall conduct a study of the issues related to lost timber tax revenue as a result of forest lands located within New Hampshire being enrolled in carbon credit offset programs.  The department shall provide its final report including its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to the legislature on or before November 1, 2024.

2  New Paragraph; Forest Registry; Rulemaking.  Amend RSA 227-G:4 by inserting after paragraph XI the following new paragraph:

XII.(a)  Establishment and maintenance of a public registry listing forest lands located within New Hampshire that are enrolled in one or more carbon programs that reflect the land's capacity to remove and store carbon from the atmosphere, including requirements for owners of such land to file a notice of enrollment that includes the following information insofar as the information is already publicly available:

(1)  The legal name of the owner of the subject land;

(2)  Reference to the tax map and lot number of the subject land;

(3)  The name of the program, or program registry or registries, under which the subject land is enrolled;

(4)  The date of enrollment in the forest carbon credit program;

(5)  The period of enrollment in the forest carbon credit program; and

(6)  Acreage of subject land.

(b)  The land owner shall notify the municipality or municipalities where the subject land is located, or the applicable governing body or bodies of the territory in which the land is located, of the filing of a notice pursuant to subparagraph (a).

3  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

 

LBA

24-3134

Amended 3/11/24

 

HB 1697-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE (AMENDMENT #2024-0482h)

 

AN ACT relative to forest carbon credit programs.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

Estimated State Impact - Increase / (Decrease)

 

FY 2024

FY 2025

FY 2026

FY 2027

Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

Revenue Fund(s)

None

 

Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable Increase

$0

$0

Funding Source(s)

General Fund

 

Appropriations

$0

$0

$0

$0

Funding Source(s)

None

 

Does this bill provide sufficient funding to cover estimated expenditures? [X] No

Does this bill authorize new positions to implement this bill? [X] No

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill requires the Department of Revenue Administration to conduct a study of the issues related to lost timber tax revenue as a result of forest lands located within New Hampshire being enrolled in carbon credit offset programs.  The bill also requires the Division of Forestry to establish and maintain a public registry of all forest lands enrolled in a carbon program.

 

The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Division of Forests and Lands assumes the registration process will operate much like the current Intent to Cut Notification process (RSA 79:10) whereby the landowner would submit a form notifying municipal assessing officials of their intent to enroll their property in a carbon credit program.  The town would send a copy of the completed form(s) to Division of Forests and Lands for recording in the state registry. Administrative staff within the Division would maintain the statewide registry in an Excel spreadsheet.  Given the current number of enrolled landowners and the relatively slow rate of enrollment, the Division does not expect this administrative work would require additional staff or significant staff time to manage.  The Division indicates implementing the law would require working with the NH Municipal Association, the NH Timberland Owners Association, the NH Tree Farm Program, the Current Use Board and other statewide conservation organizations to inform landowners of the new Forest Carbon Registry.  The Division estimates that building and maintaining the carbon registry would require approximately 25 to 30 hours of staff time annually at an administrative rate of $50/hour for a total of $1,250 to $1,500.

 

The Department or Revenue Administration indicates this bill instructs the Department to conduct a study of the issues related to lost timber tax revenue as a result of forest lands located within the state being enrolled in carbon credit offset programs.  The Department states the study would include a statistical analysis of timber tax revenue collected from parcels of land  enrolled in carbon credit offset programs by comparing timber tax revenue from those lands prior to and after enrolling in such programs.  If the intended scope of the study is more expansive, beyond providing Timber Tax revenue statistics, the Department may need to seek and contract the services of an external consultant with specialized knowledge in carbon credit offset programs and forestry to complete the report.  Depending on the scope of the study, the bill may result in an indeterminable additional cost that could not be absorbed in the Department's operating budget.   Any such costs are expected to be incurred in FY 2025.

 

The bill would require the Department to provide its final report including findings and any recommendations for future legislation on or before November 1, 2024.  To perform the study, the Department assumes information on the owners and the description of their property enrolled in carbon credit offset programs will be available, however no such registry of lands enrolled in carbon credit offset programs currently exists.  The Department notes, depending on the number of owners enrolling their land in carbon credit offset programs, it may be restricted by the confidentiality statute of RSA 21-J:14 in its reporting of the results of the study.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Departments of Revenue Administration and Natural and Cultural Resources

 

Amendments

Date Amendment
Feb. 8, 2024 2024-0482h

Links


Date Body Type
Jan. 9, 2024 House Hearing
Jan. 22, 2024 House Hearing
Jan. 30, 2024 House Exec Session
Feb. 6, 2024 House Exec Session
Feb. 6, 2024 House Floor Vote
April 9, 2024 Senate Hearing
April 9, 2024 Senate Hearing

Bill Text Revisions

HB1697 Revision: 41027 Date: March 11, 2024, 11 a.m.
HB1697 Revision: 40780 Date: Feb. 8, 2024, 10:44 a.m.
HB1697 Revision: 40511 Date: Dec. 15, 2023, 4:11 p.m.

Docket


April 3, 2024: Hearing: 04/09/2024, Room 103, SH, 09:30 am; SC 14


April 3, 2024: Hearing: 04/09/2024, Room 103, SH, 09:30 am; SC 14


March 6, 2024: Introduced 02/21/2024 and Referred to Energy and Natural Resources; SJ 6


Feb. 22, 2024: Ought to Pass with Amendment 2024-0482h: MA DV 356-10 02/22/2024 HJ 6


Feb. 22, 2024: Amendment # 2024-0482h: AA VV 02/22/2024 HJ 6


Feb. 9, 2024: Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2024-0482h (NT) 02/06/2024 (Vote 20-0; RC)


Jan. 31, 2024: ==CONTINUED== Executive Session: 02/06/2024 01:00 pm LOB 302-304


Jan. 31, 2024: Full Committee Work Session: 02/06/2024 09:00 am LOB 302-304


Jan. 22, 2024: ==RECESSED== Executive Session: 01/30/2024 03:00 pm LOB 302-304


Jan. 22, 2024: Full Committee Work Session: 01/30/2024 01:30 pm LOB 302-304


Jan. 17, 2024: ==CONTINUED== Public Hearing: 01/22/2024 10:00 am LOB 302-304


Jan. 17, 2024: ==RECESSED== Public Hearing: 01/09/2024 09:30 am LOB 302-304


Dec. 15, 2023: Introduced 01/03/2024 and referred to Science, Technology and Energy HJ 1