Tax credit for landowners who allow snowmobiling on their property on the horizon?

Published: Jan. 15, 2022 at 5:22 PM EST
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BARNES CORNER, New York (WWNY) - According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, there are more than 10,000 miles of snowmobile trails in New York State.

A chunk of those fall in the North Vountry, crossing both public and private land.

“To go across private property, we go to the landowners and ask them for permission, and we designate a certain trail through a person’s field or side yard or front yard,” said Scott Margeson, President of Barnes Corner Sno-Pals.

However, these agreements don’t give the property owners any incentive to say yes.

Margeson says that can sometimes make it difficult for clubs like theirs to get more landowners to allow public access on their land.

“That is a difficult process to do, it’s time sensitive and we have to work with the landowners a lot,” said Margeson.

State Senator Joe Griffo and Assemblymen Ken Blankenbush have heard these concerns, both deciding to sponsor bills in their respective chambers that would provide a tax credit to private property owners who allow their land to connect to the state funded trail system.

“To continue to not only sustain the level of travels, but to eventually enhance them, and as we know there have been cases where we have had public, private partnerships, we want to just try and enhance that,” said Griffo.

“Tourism is very, very important. And snowmobiling is one of those big dollar money makers that are coming into our counties, so anything that can help put a trail system together would be good,” said Blankenbush.

Both bills are still in the preliminary stages and would need to be passed in the New York State Senate and assembly before they can be signed into law.

But if they do get the go ahead, implementation would most likely start at some point next year.

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