Presentation on theme: "Cabin Fee Act (CFA) Update Doug Gann National Forest Homeowners MHFHA Annual Meeting – June 28, 2014."— Presentation transcript:
Cabin Fee Act (CFA) Update Doug Gann National Forest Homeowners MHFHA Annual Meeting – June 28, 2014
The Problem with CUFFA Fees Appraisals have proven to be highly inconsistent and often result in extreme fees. Fees are based on land value, not the value of the highly restricted recreation land use. Some fees are too low, less than the recreational value, and in some cases, less than the cost to administer the program. Some fees are too high, beyond a typical cabin owner’s ability to pay and often so high that the cabin becomes unsellable……..we stand to lose hundreds, if not thousands of cabins over the next few years. The 10-year appraisal cycle places all fees under a cloud of uncertainty, even if your current fee is reasonable.
The Lot No River or Lake No View No motorized winter access The Cabin Rustic Log 350 sq. ft. No running water No electricity The CUFFA Fee $23,831 for 2014
CUFFA vs. CFA 80% Dissatisfied with CUFFA fee structure 87% Support the CFA as the replacement No single issue stood out for those not supporting CFA 2014 Permit Fee Payment 4% said they did not pay the 2013 fee and 6% indicated they won’t pay the 2014 fee, with another 25% undecided Recent billing/collections information from the FS suggests a higher level of fee non-payment. Cabin Sales 35% of cabins currently for sale or owners are considering selling due to higher fees
We have spent countless volunteer hours, and had passionate, widespread grassroots activism and significant financial support. It is the Program that we care about. To stop the loss of 10% to 15% of our cabins… To eliminate future fee uncertainty… To reduce costs to cabin owners and the Forest Service alike.
Bills out of committee in both Houses of Congress. S. 1341 H.R. 1159 4873 Strong bi-partisan support in House & Senate! Support of Cabin Owners & the Forest Service. But we struggle with the mysterious ways of the CBO.
An unfavorable CBO opinion in March resulted in several proposed changes to S.1341 Language changes to clarify bill intent Increase Fee Tiers by $100 The CBO has not responded to ENR’s informal request The House introduced H.R.4873, the Cabin Fee Act of 2014, replacing H.R.1159 on June 17th Includes Senate language with proposed changes Passed by House National Resources Committee June 19th Formal request sent to CBO on June 19th
A delegation of C2/NFH Leaders traveled to Wash DC June 15-18 to lobby on behalf of all cabin owners NFH Leaders Jay Tripathi, Brad Aspell, Doug Gann, & Pete Bailey Cabin owners Lynn & Bob Eustance, Seeley Lake, MT Lobbyists Aubrey King, Heath Heikkila, & Michelle Giguere Completed 30 meetings in 3 days Key members & staff of the Senate ENR Committee Key members & staff of the House Forest Service leaders, including Chief Tom Tidwell
What we said….. The current system is flawed….many examples of unfair fees The situation is urgent......many cabin owners unable to pay 2013/2014 fees and some will tear down their cabin this fall to avoid a 2015 fee liability We have support from Congress, Forest Service, Cabin Owners….what will it take to get the CFA passed this year? What we heard…… No opposition to the CFA No movement without favorable CBO opinion Current political environment challenging to get anything done Limited remaining calendar due to election…..end of July milestone
Work closely with the House National Resources Committee regarding H.R.4873 CBO opinion Once clear of the CBO hurdle, seek swift passage of the CFA in the House of Representatives Bring up on “Suspension Calendar” requires 2/3 vote to pass Encourage the Senate to adopt and pass the House version of the bill. “ Unanimous Consent” requires 100% vote to pass Could be packaged with other non-controversial bills Time is of the essence!
FEE TABLE SUMMARY 11 Fee Tiers $600 - $5,600 Range 70% of fees < Avg Fee 30% of fees > Avg Fee $1,200 Transfer Fee – no transfer fee surcharge Fee retention for USFS after 10 years USFS Review & Report to Congress after 10 years
Transition Years (2014 – 2015) Interim fees = CUFFA fees capped at $5,600 (retroactive) Complete the current appraisal cycle (600 x 2 nd appraisals) Perform 1-time adjustment of appraisal values to common date of value (normalization) Rank all appraisal values nationally & assign permits to CFA fee tiers We expect CFA permit fees for 2016 Transfer fees could begin sooner……..possibly 2015?
Contact your Senators & Representatives Look to C2 for messaging and timing (recent Call to Action) Senator Wyden’s support was obtained from your calls & letters! Thank You If you are not a member, please join the NFH The only national organization advocating for cabin owners Strength in numbers, more members = more clout A good value for $45 annual dues Consider donating to the C2/CFA Fund Over 900 cabin owners have so far in 2014!
THANK YOU! For your feedback, legislative contacts, and financial support. Questions?