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4/21/2017 » 4/22/2017
2017 NFH Seattle Conference

Cabin Fee Act (CFA) Update
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CABIN FEE ACT (CFA) UPDATE

Despite the dogged efforts of the Cabin Coalition 2 (C2) and the National Forest Homeowners (NFH) to pass the Cabin Fee Act (CFA), CUFFA is still the law of the land and permit fee bills far exceeding permittees ability to pay are arriving across the country. The stories from Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming and elsewhere are all the same. 2013 permit bills of $7000, $9000, $12000 and above are occurring now, even with the limited protection of the 3 year phase-in under CUFFA. Few good options remain. Yes, many of you do not have these problems. Just count your blessings. That said we must work together in defense of the Recreation Residence Program. Losing 10% of our cabin neighbors cannot be allowed.

The Cabin Fee Act (CFA) addresses these high fees. It is the solution. But, despite strong bi-partisan Congressional support in both Houses and Forest Service acknowledgement of the failures of CUFFA, and our strident efforts, passage remains elusive. Here is where we are today.

H.R.1159 was introduced in the House of Representatives and passed out of committee, but was found to be revenue negative by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Our response to this hurdle has included review and correction of all current appraisal data, further discussions with the Forest Service encouraging validation of research data and minor adjustments to the bill. We believe that together these actions provide an opportunity for success with the CBO, hopefully soon.

Parallel efforts are proceeding with the Senate. By the time you are reading this, Senator Tester should have introduced a Senate bill; a bill that we believe addresses the concerns of the CBO, the Forest Service and cabin owners alike. An optimistic view hopes for passage in the Senate this summer and a prompt and positive vote in the House.

For 5 1/2 years we have been struggling with a Congress that has not done much, the challenge of revenue neutrality legislated by ‘Pay As You Go’ and the extreme variability of CUFFA’s impact. This is very likely our last chance at resolving the cabin fee problem. Grassroots support from cabin owners remains the key to success.

Call to Action: All cabin owners, particularly those of you that face 2013 fees that you cannot pay or are beyond the market in your area, must inform your Senators and Representatives. Find them at http://www.contactingthecongress.org/ and write them today. Here’s what to say:

· Let them know your objections and strongly urge Congressional action to save your cabin. Your e-mail should convey a deeply personal message; how long has the cabin been in your family, what it has meant for generations, what will be lost if you have to leave the cabin.

· Stress that due to high fees, it is nearly impossible to sell the cabin.

· Emphasize that after years of conscientious and good faith efforts to get reasonable legislation passed, we have been frustrated by technical and budgetary issues. Cabin owners have finally reached the end of their rope and we need Congress to act NOW.

 

Your participation is critical; please contact your Senators and Representatives today!

 

Pete Bailey

C2 Legislative Contact Committee

June 21, 2013