Our Updated Advice What to Do About Your 2014 Cabin Permit Fee
March 6, 2014
In early January we communicated our best advice to cabin owners facing 2014 fee bills – and some with 2013 fee bills – that they simply can’t pay. We’ve heard back from many of you and have learned more about the Forest Service collection process, and, frustratingly, the Cabin Fee Act is stilllanguishing in Congress. So for many, it now may be time to fish or cut bait, as they say, because you can’t sit on a fee bill forever without some unwelcome results. First, we remain optimistic that the CFA will eventually be passed by Congress, but it’s got to be soon to help with extremely high fees. . . . Despite strong bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress, the Cabin Fee Act is part of a huge logjam that defies understanding. Be assured though that we continue to push the legislation as hard as possible! Now, about those fee bills. In our prior communication, we advised that if you could not afford to pay your bill, simply do nothing for the time being. While the “do-nothing” strategy might be the only option for some cabin owners, the Forest Service has indicated that making no payment at all will place the permittee into noncompliance with their permit and could trigger revocation proceedings. Instead, we have heard from the Forest Service that the agency will act more favorably toward cabin owners who make any “good faith effort” to pay some portion of their 2014 bill, even if it’s not the full amount. . . . (Read more and download the entire letter here.)
It's time again for our annual NFH elections, an opportunity for you to participate in the democratic process of choosing the leadership to represent your interests in our national membership organization. This year we will elect a new president, as Geoff Anderson is termed out and steps down after six years. Several other positions are up for election, as well as the entire Nominating Committee.
Click here for more information and to see the entire slate of candidates and candidate statements.
Cabin Fee Act: The CBO Finally Responds March 20, 2014
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has issued an opinion of the Cabin Fee Act of 2013 (S. 1341), and its conclusions are not favorable. As we have mentioned in the past, delaying passage of the bill into 2014 would have negative effects on scoring. This has proven to be true. Also, it must be understood that as the gatekeeper for revenue evaluations of legislation, created by the “Pay As You Go” rules of Congress, the CBO does not disclose exactly how it arrives and its conclusions, so we have done our best to interpret the CBO report and propose revisions to the bill to solve for the identified revenue gap. The challenges have been and continue to be formidable. We are having frequent and candid conversations with the Forest Service over the details and potential revisions to the bill. It must be stated again that the Forest Service continues to support the Cabin Fee Act and encourages open dialogue aimed at resolving differences and interpretations. Every effort is being made to be sure we view and interpret the bill the same. Further research and discussions clarifying complexities such as the timing of CUFFA implementation, how the fee cap affects revenues during the transition period, the revenue impact of pending second appraisals and the potential loss of cabins under CUFFA are proceeding. That said, our proposed revisions to bill language and components of the bill are noted below: (Read more . . .)
National Forest Homeowners is a member-directed organization representing cabin-owner recreation residence permittees on our national forests. NFH provides leadership, member information and assistance, and advocacy for continuation of all recreation residences. It is dedicated to educating its members and others in sound science stewardship of our forests.