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Save the Date!NFH Annual Convention in Reno, Nevada
Silver Legacy Resort, April 3-5, 2014
2014 Permit Fee Bills Are Arriving
What you should do
while we wait for the CFA to pass
NFH and the Cabin Coalition 2 are working in earnest to get the Cabin Fee Act passed by this Congress before the end of the year. Currently, a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee mark-up of the CFA (S. 1341) is expected the week of December 16. Most of the process is beyond our control at this stage, but we remain hopeful that it will pass this year.
Many cabin owners have already received their 2014 bills and others are expected before the end of the month. These bills are based on the current CUFFA formula and some will be substantially higher than the fees anticipated by the Cabin Fee Act as currently proposed in both houses of Congress. Because the CFA will affect many 2014 fees, we recommend that you delay paying those bills until Congress acts (by the end of the year, if we are fortunate). The 2014 bills are due January 1, but you may withhold payment until the end of January without penalty or interest under the 30-day grace period.
NFH previously provided a message with appeal and payment options to consider regarding 2013 fee bills, which is still available for your information below.
Geoff Anderson, NFH President
December 7, 2013
Recognize Good Work for the Cabin Program with an NFH Award Nomination
There are many folks in our cabin tracts who devote countless time and energy to promoting and supporting the quality of our recreation residence experiences. Take the time to think about those people and give them the recognition they deserve by nominating them for an NFH Award! The five award categories are listed below (click on a category to download a description of the award and the nomination form). The first four awards are presented to NFH members or tracts while the fifth is awarded to a Forest Service employee:
Nominations are due by mail or email to Executive Director Ernie Atencio by December 31, 2013. The NFH Awards Committee will review the nominations and make their decisions in early 2014. We look forward to hearing from you.
2013 Cabin Permit Fee Information
Appeal and Payment Options to Consider
2013 Cabin permit fee bills have arrived. Many cabin owners are now facing very large increases and some simply cannot pay the high fees. So what options do cabin owners have now?
First, it must be emphasized that NFH remains resolute in seeing the passage of the Cabin Fee Act (CFA). The CFA is the best solution because it would result in predictable and affordable permit fees helping to ensure the long-term viability of the Cabin Program. It will eliminate the headaches and heartaches inherent in an appraisal process for fee determination. We ask for your continued support of that legislative effort!
Second, NFH remains resolute in advocating for cabin owners. The following actions may apply to your personal situation in response to 2013 fees. However, we do not discourage you from seeking legal advice.
For options you may wish to consider, click here.
Review before paying your bill, click here.
Sample Appeal Template, click here.
Read a letter from the Forest Service regarding permit fee, click here.
Cabin Fee Act Sails through Senate Hearing!
In a hearing on November 20 by the Senate Energy and Natural Resource (ENR) Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests and Mining, the Cabin Fee Act (S. 1341) sailed through without a hitch. After years of advocating for an equitable new fee system for the cabin program, this is as close to success as we have ever been! (Click hereto see article.) And, for the first time, the U.S. Forest Service unequivocally supported the bill (click here to see the USFS testimony submitted for the hearing). Four Senators on the committee also spoke in support, including ENR Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), ranking Republican John Barrasso (R-WY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Jeff Flake (R-AZ).
Because the process was going so smoothly and had strong support (one D.C. insider called it a "perfect storm of bipartisanship”), NFH and the Cabin Coalition 2 made a strategic decision not to send a representative to give oral testimony because it would probably just complicate and slow the process. But we prepared extensive written testimony and background information, which you can see here.
Now that the CFA is through the hearing, we expect a fairly quick response from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) about the revenue implications of the bill. Though we have struggled to satisfy the CBO in the past, we are optimistic that the corrected and updated data they received from the Forest Service this past summer will favorably support the CFA as written. Then we'll see a "mark-up” session to finalize the language of the bill, which we expect to take place soon after Thanksgiving. We have been pressing for no changes to the language, but are preparing for all potential issues with the CBO and mark up and are ready to address them if and when they arise. Oregon residents click here for a special message, everyone else, stay tuned!