The Massachusetts Appeals Court reversed the Appellate Tax Board 's decision upholding the town's refusal to abate the withdrawal tax on the subject property.
Mass Appeals Court Reverses ATB Ruling on Chapter 61 Withdrawal
SOUTH STREET NOMINEE TRUST vs. BOARD OF ASSESSORS OF CARLISLE
The Mass Appeals Court reversed the Appellate Tax Board 's decision upholding the town's refusal to abate the withdrawal tax on the subject property.
In Cornish v. Carlisle Assessors (July 26, 2006) the Appellate Tax Board refused to apply a "grandfather" clause to allow a taxpayer to withdraw its land from forest land (Chapter 61) classification without penalty.
In the early 1980's the legislature completely overhauled Chapter 61. Under the new law, the tax for withdrawing land from forest Chapter 61 classification was dramatically increased. Because the change in the law was so drastic, the legislature added a "grandfather" clause which allowed owners of land classified as forest land under the old law to withdraw their property from classification without incurring a withdrawal tax.
The taxpayer in the Carlisle case argued that the plain protective language of the grandfather clause applied whenever the property was removed from classification.
The assessors argued that the grandfather clause was only available until the expiration of the property's forest management plan which was in place at the time the new law replaced the old.
The ATB upheld the assessors’ position.
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