12.2.601 PUBLIC LAND ACCESS TAX CREDIT
(1) Pursuant to 15-30-2380 and 87-1-294, MCA, landowners may apply for a contract with the department to become eligible to receive a $750 tax credit for qualified access to public land, as defined in 87-1-294(9)(b), MCA.
(2) Landowners wanting to be considered for a contract must submit an application by March 15 in the tax year for which credit will be claimed.
(3) The department will award contracts no later than May 15 of the tax year in which the credit is to be claimed.
(4) The application must state the following and failure to include any one portion may result in denial of the application:
(a) legal land description of parcel of public land to which access will be provided;
(b) legal land description of parcel of private land through which access will be provided;
(c) description of the road or travel route providing public access to the public land parcel;
(d) map depicting public land parcel, adjacent private land through which public access will be provided, access point where public access on private land begins, and travel route proposed for public access;
(e) description of method permitted to access public lands;
(f) indication as to whether or not the landowner is lessee of a state land parcel to which public access will be provided; and
(g) indication as to whether or not hunting on the private land through which access will be provided is managed through outfitting or commercial hunting.
(5) The department must consider the following when awarding contracts:
(a) verification that the public lands are not restricted or closed to general recreational use by the land management agency that owns or has legal control of the public land parcel;
(b) verification that the public land will be available for a majority of the year to all general recreational use including hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, wildlife watching, and other uses compatible with the use of public lands;
(c) access routes restricted to foot travel only:
(i) must be capable of accommodating normal ambulatory travel; and
(ii) must not exceed one linear mile from the beginning to the end of the access route; and
(d) access routes available to vehicles must be capable of accommodating typical road use vehicles.
(6) A landowner may impose reasonable limitations through temporary closure of a public access route to address concerns related to high fire danger, weather-related impact to travel route, safety, or agricultural production activities such as livestock handling or harvest and planting of crops, so long as:
(a) the landowner notifies department regional headquarters at least 24 hours prior to the closure;
(b) the landowner posts notice to the public on-site; and
(c) the closure:
(i) is in effect for no more than seven days without department review and approval; and
(ii) is removed within 24 hours after the natural environmental conditions no longer exist.
(7) Land enrolled in any other department program that secures public access to a public land parcel is not eligible for a contract through this program to provide access to that same public land parcel.
(8) To provide verification that the landowner is eligible to receive the tax credit pursuant to 15-30-2380 and 87-1-294, MCA, the department must provide:
(a) a copy of the contract to the landowner bearing a certification number that confirms the terms of the contract have been fulfilled no later than January 31 after the end of the tax year in which the credit is being claimed; and
(b) the contract certification number to the Department of Revenue no later than January 31 after the end of the tax year in which the credit is being claimed.
History: 87-1-294, MCA; IMP, 15-30-2380, 87-1-294, MCA; NEW, 2014 MAR p. 391, Eff. 2/28/14; AMD, 2016 MAR p. 202, Eff. 2/6/16.