This program will discuss the Supreme Judicial Court’s recent decision in
New England Forestry Foundation, Inc. v. Board of Assessors of Hawley,
a case with implications for thousands of acres of conservation land and
municipal tax revenue.
In its decision, the SJC reversed the opinion of the board of
assessors and held that a nonprofit corporation was entitled to receive the
benefit of the charitable tax exemption for an 120-acre of forest land located
in Hawley. In reaching that holding, the Court elucidated the
circumstances in which land held for conservation purposes may qualify for the
charitable tax exemption and espoused the interrelatedness of land conservation
and environmental protection.