Metolius River Forest Homeowners Association

A place for posting matters of importance to Cabin Owners and their visitors, along the Metolius River in Deschutes National Forest, Camp Sherman, Oregon

A Reason For Hope (Are your Speakers turned on?)

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cabin Fee Act of 2011 Introduced to the House of Representatives

Yesterday, November 10, 2011, House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) introduced H.R. 3397, The Cabin Fee Act of 2011 (CFA). This historic legislation received a positive hearing by the Natural Resources Committee on September 9th, where cabin owner Pete Bailey of Tacoma, WA, testified on behalf of National Forest Homeowners (NFH) and the Cabin Coalition (C2).

H.R. 3397 is very similar to the 2010 Cabin Fee Act, which was also introduced and championed by Chairman Hastings. Like last year's bill, H.R. 3397 is expected to receive strong bipartisan support. The new bill will replace the flawed appraisal-based fee system mandated by the Cabin User Fee Fairness Act of 2000 (CUFFA). Nine value tiers would be established, ranging from $500 to a maximum of $4500. The NFH believes this will mean a much more equitable and balanced fee structure that will more truly reflect the true value of the cabin use than the gross fee disparities under CUFFA. Assignment to value tiers, that will establish individual cabin fees, will be determined by a rank order of all appraisals following the completion of the final CUFFA appraisals - the last use of any appraisals. During the transition period from CUFFA to the CFA, fees will be the lesser of $4500 or the current CUFFA fee, provided that the CUFFA fee cannot result in more than a 25 percent annual increase over the previous year's fee.

H.R. 3397 will also provide a "cabin transfer fee" based on the selling price when a cabin changes ownership and a new permit is issued. This transfer fee will be a flat $1,000, plus 5% of the sales amount in excess of $250,000 up to $500,000 and an additional 10% of the sales amount in excess of $500,000.

NFH President Geoff Anderson, of Lincoln, CA, hailed the new legislation. According to Anderson, "Passage of this legislation will mark a new day for cabin owners. It will do away with the inconsistencies and excessively wide range of fees resulting from the current appraisal system. It will result in fairer and more reasonable fees that more accurately reflect the actual
value of the cabin use. It will enable families who have built and maintained their cabins for generations to continue to use and enjoy them. The NFH and the C2 Coalition is deeply grateful to Chairman Hastings for his leadership and we look forward to working with him to get this needed legislation enacted into law."

A copy of H.R. 3397 will be posted on this NFH website as soon as it is available.

Aubrey King, NFH Washington Representative

Survey Deadline this Sunday

Please ask you fellow cabin owners to complete the 2012 Cabin Fee Survey this weekend, if they have not already done so. The deadline is this Sunday. Please follow this link:

Many Thanks,

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cabin Fee and Sales Survey -11/13/11 Deadline for Completion

Efforts to move the Cabin Fee Act forward in 2011 have been stalled. Several matters have impeded progress. First, a Senatorial request for an annual cap on potential increases necessitated significant language changes. Second, the declining real estate market impacted our revenue projections, necessitating a restructuring of CFA fee tiers which required a second review by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Third, we have been frustrated by the slow response of the CBO due to the relative low importance of our issue compared to larger issues facing Congress.

That said we are optimistic about both House and Senate bills being introduced this fall. Passage of the CFA this fall is possible, but the odds are against us, given such limited time. Passage in the spring is more likely. Furthermore, the prospect for a 2012 Fee Moratorium is also dim because a $5M offset (CBO determined) would be required and the source of such funds is problematic. Without the CFA passing or a Fee Moratorium many cabin owners face daunting fees in January, since the Forest Service could bill full fees according to CUFFA legislation. What options exist for those of us that cannot manage these fees?

NFH and C2 leadership will be preparing our thoughts on how cabin owners may choose to respond to high fee billings in the next few weeks. These will be shared broadly by email and posted on the NFH website, so please stay engaged. In the meantime, we want to understand the extent of the problem and how you, the affected cabin owner, may decide to respond. A brief 10 minute survey, with easy instructions will help us better define the current state of affairs and the best options for response, while helping us better inform our Congressional sponsors of the likely outcomes of inaction. We need your help.

Follow this link to the 2012 Cabin Fee and Sales Survey (11/13/11 deadline for completion).


Our Sincere Regards,
Cabin Coalition 2 and NFH leadership

Please contact with questions or concerns.

MRFHA - Camp Sherman

MRFHA - Camp Sherman
Metolius River