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#58199 - 06/23/11 08:48 PM Taxes VS preservation...have at it!
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3764
Loc: Ulster County, NY
Consider the thread moved! Continue discussion.

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#58206 - 06/23/11 10:00 PM Re: Taxes VS preservation...have at it! [Re: RangerRob]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 845
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
That seemed simple enough. Thank you RR. If everyone else is game.......

On the initial thread Kent recently posted:

"At the same time Mohonk Preserve members shouldn't expect ordinary taxpayers, those who are not MP members, to subsidize their recreational opportunities."

But aren't these same ordinary taxpayers also subsidizing the preservation and conservation of their local resources in addition to the varied recreational activities.

Today's taxpayers have had little to say about how tax breaks were awarded to non-profits. However, over the decades their elected officials have had much to do with it at all levels. As long as the tax law allows these exemptions, we should expect the non-profits to take advantage of these lawful breaks.

That is really the bigger issue, the availability of these tax breaks to non-profits. Tuesday's newspaper released a list of non-profits that recently lost their federal non-profit status. Over 400 organizations in Orange, Ulster, and Sullivan Counties. The list was very enlightening and equally surprising. If these changes are upheld, local communities will follow suit and reap the benefits of additional tax dollars.

BTW, none of the trusts in question were on the list.

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#58210 - 06/24/11 12:43 PM Re: Taxes VS preservation...have at it! [Re: Rickster]
ianmanger Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 319
First off, I'd just like to point out that we are in danger of conflating Kent's issues with the Preserve with a more general question of the impacts of "preservation". The 100000acres referred to in the plan is obviously not going to end up being an extension of the Preserve and to imply so is absurd.

I would be interested to know exactly how much $$ is actually 'lost' because the Preserve sits on 7000acres of unimproved, tax exempt land. However, to focus solely on the loss of local tax revenue as though this is some form of subsidy to visitors seems to miss the point entirely, since it implies that this is the end (loss)of the economic value of that land to the community. Well, a little lazy Google shows that tourism contributes >$400M to the overall economy in Ulster county, or roughly 8-10% of the total economic activity for the area.

tourism $ for Ulster county


2005 $427,190,073
2006 $471,731,320
2007 $489,814,060
2008 $470,180,331
2009 $420,160,000

Look at the numbers in the link, and especially the higher numbers for Ulster compared to its neighbors. Most probably people enjoying the parks, preserves etc i.e. the preserved state of the land. This equates to over $2K for every Ulster county resident. That's a lot of dirtbag dollars that filter into every pocket and into the community coffers as a result of local taxes.
The Preserve could pay more, but as Rickster points out, the Preserve would be idiotic not to preserve its 501c2 status, I'm also not going to deny that some people (Kent) etc are negatively impacted by the existence of the Preserve and their immediate proximity to it but I don't think based on this that, on average, local communities are effectively subsidizing our recreation i.e. are, on average, worse off as a direct result of preservation under tax-exempt status as is implied. I don't have numbers that break this issue down further but it seems obvious that the very existence of those preserved areas directly generates economic activity that would more than offset any lost revenue.

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#58211 - 06/24/11 01:02 PM Re: Taxes VS preservation...have at it! [Re: ianmanger]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2675
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
I think I understand the many concerns that locals have as well as the desire of many to preserve as much open space as possible. I think the bottom line is quality of life. For me, the opportunity to live next to such a recreational a visual resource as the preserve would well out-weigh any monetary concerns about my wallet.
I don't say that lightly, as we all want to prosper and take care of any family as best as we can. That is a vital driving force for the betterment of everyone and the reason why capitalism will always bring everyone to the highest level they can function at. In this case, Gardiner property values have risen steadily, especially after 9/1/1, and you will not get as much property for your money as if you were to purchase on the west side of the ridge. You will not be able to sell the land for developement. That is reality. The benefits are still appreciable and for me would be worth it.

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#58212 - 06/24/11 01:32 PM Re: Taxes VS preservation...have at it! [Re: RangerRob]
cfrac Offline
addict

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 462
Originally Posted By: RangerRob
Consider the thread moved! Continue discussion.


Nice move Rob!

So where does the Watchtower group fit into all of this?

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#58213 - 06/24/11 02:17 PM Re: Taxes VS preservation...have at it! [Re: cfrac]
TerrieM Offline
addict

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 425
Loc: Gunks in Summer, Southwest in ...
To suggest that the Shawangunks Byway is somehow *bad* is appalling. The towns west of the ridge have suffered economic downturns since the age of summering in the area dwindled several decades ago, and industry fled the country in their race to the bottom.

The efforts to bring these towns to the fore as a recreational/tourism centers should be applauded - what OTHER force gives these towns a chance to not only subsist but eventually to flourish? Industry sure ain't coming back any time soon, so long as the US is still competing internationally.

Bring in tourism, and you will see second home purchases rise. perhaps BECAUSE land east of the ridge ISN'T so readily available.

Second homes, become primary ones, as people realize it's a damned sight better away from the ratrace cities they have been going back to each Sunday might(that I know from personal experience!).

Primary homes bring children, and pets, and needs for businesses which support a daily existence as opposed to weekenders who aren't all that concerned if they can't get a good loaf of bread locally. etc., etc., etc.

Also - tourism brings in sales tax dollars - here's a short article mentioning the proposed 4% extension to sales tax in the county.
http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9NVM1802.htm


On an aside - I met a local artist a few days ago, who has a kitschy little venture , HomeGrown Mini-Golf!

April 30 to October 30, 10 am to 6 pm daily
Kelder's Farm
5755 Route 209 between Accord and Kerhonkson, NY
845-626-7137

"Homegrown Mini-Golf on Kelder's Farm features real vegetables, fruit, grain and herbs. All of the plantings in the mini-golf garden are edible, some are unusual, and many of the varieties are also grown in the Kelder's Farm U-Pick fields. It's only $3.25 a game--and of course you get a chance to win a free game on the last hole."
http://www.homegrownminigolf.com/


Her intention is to be part of bringing growth and opportunity to the area, and looking to tourism as a way to do that.

Local residents whose communities DEPEND on tourism are being short-sighted when they diss those very real funds which tourism brings to their communities.

You want no tourism in Ulster(Gardiner/new Paltz, etc.)? Take a look TO those towns west of the ridge and their struggle and you will see what happens when the tourism isn't there. Not that it WOULD happen, but without the toursim, which holds a checks and balances to this side of the ridge, what would eventually occur WOULD be only wealthy homes.

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#58214 - 06/24/11 03:26 PM Re: Taxes VS preservation...have at it! [Re: TerrieM]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
With all due respect, the western part of the ridge is doing fine, or as fine as any place else in the county is in this economy. Yeah, there's a few missing teeth from Ellenville to Rochester, but weekenders long ago found the Rondout Basin (three New Yorker articles three weeks in a row started the boomlet c. 1999). And Marbletown is certainly every bit as gentrified country as Gardiner...or Rhinebeck.

Kelder and other local farms are even providing food to the Rondout School District. It doesn't get any better, more sustainable, than that.
_________________________
Shongum ain\'t Indian,
it\'s Shawank-unk.

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#58216 - 06/24/11 05:51 PM Re: Taxes VS preservation...have at it! [Re: yorick]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4275
Loc: Poughkeepsie
Can anyone confirm (or refute) that property values in Gardiner have actually INCREASED relative to, say the towns west of the Ridge, since the new zoning regs were adopted?

I have long believed that "developable land" only brings higher prices when sold to a developer. (Kinda like an unusual old car. The fact that a collector MIGHT pay you dearly for it doesn't raise what a scrapper will pay for the vehicle.) And that doesn't seem to have happened much in the restricted zones of the ridge, either before or after the new regs.

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#58224 - 06/25/11 01:50 PM Re: Taxes VS preservation...have at it! [Re: Mike Rawdon]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2675
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
You make a good point, Mike. Without a buyer, who is to say what the value of anything is? Real estate listings are just the value others have previously seen in a particular property. Much of the country has realized just how fragile a marker that truely is and is only just starting to rebound back toward previous prices. Most investments are speculative and you can only hope that the timing is right when you buy and sell.

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#58225 - 06/25/11 03:51 PM Re: Taxes VS preservation...have at it! [Re: chip]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
Mike,

Scroll down to median price. Gardiner tops the list, followed by Marbletown and Olive.

http://www.ulstercountynyrealestate.com/ulster-county-real-estate-market-2010

Can't find anything comparable for earlier years online, so I looked at some old editions of the late Weekender Magazine published by Blue Stone Press, which used to list each home sale bi-annually for every town in Ulster County.

For Autumn of 2004, Gardiner's average price was $345,000. Marbletown's was $340,000. Olive, $301,000. Rochester, $243,000.

For the Spring/Summer of 2005, Gardiner was $281,000 and Marbletown came in at a whopping $481,000. No numbers for Olive, but Rochester was $276,000 and Denning, $365,000.
_________________________
Shongum ain\'t Indian,
it\'s Shawank-unk.

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