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tax relief for community garden owners

  • Subject: [cg] tax relief for community garden owners
  • From: Grow19@aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2001 19:02:19 EST

Hi CG Friends, 

We in Washington DC need your feedback and expertise.  Are there 
municipalities in that have tax systems that provide incentives/benefits to 
the private owners of vacant land used for community gardens?  We are looking 
for examples of what type of tax benefits there are, specifically how they 
work, who we could contact to obtain copies of the legislation enabling these 
tax benefits. 

Are there any cities where taxes are waived altogether for private land used 
as community gardens?  What time period is required?  What happens if the 
land stops being a community garden?  Is tax then collected at a higher rate 
plus interest?  
Here is Washington DC a sustainable development group has drafted legislation 
aimed at giving some tax relief to private owners.  Here are the specific 
provisions as they propose them:

*Properties that are designated community gardens would be taxed at a lower 
rate than would otherwise apply to vacant lots, which are currently taxed at 
the highest rate.

*Formal designation as a community garden would be provided by the DC Parks & 
Rec Department, provided that the owner agrees to allow the land to be used 
as a garden for a minimum of three years.

*In the case that the property does not continue to be a community garden for 
the full three year period, the owner would be required to pay all back taxes 
at the original vacant land rate.

Hope to hear from you all very soon.  The sustainable development group is in 
a terrific hurry to put this legislation forward.  I hope you will consider 
forwarding this message to municipal tax folks, urban planners, folks at 
Trust for Public Land, etc who might also be able to help

Happy Holidays!!
Judy Tiger
Garden Resources of Washington

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