LITTLE COMPTON AGRICULTURAL CONSERVANCY TRUST
ANNUAL REPORT, FISCAL YEAR ENDED 6-30-2020
- History, Structure and The Transfer Tax
The purpose of this annual report is to provide a synopsis of Trust activities during the fiscal year July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020.
The Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust was established by the voters at the 1986 Financial Town Meeting. The principal purpose of the Trust is to preserve farm lands and open space in the Town. This is accomplished through outright purchase of either fee interest in land or development rights, as well as donations of land and cash. Funds for these purchases have been raised during the fiscal year through a transfer tax on all real estate sales over $300,000.00.
The fee schedule, effective July 1, 2016, exempts the first $300,000.00 of real property transfers. Transaction amounts over $300,000.00 are taxed at a 4% rate.
The Town Council appoints five individuals to be Trustees, one of which is an active farmer. As provided by the enabling legislation, the Trust membership also includes two additional members appointed by the Little Compton Planning Board and the Conservation Commission respectively. The seven trustees serve for 5-year staggered terms. In addition to on-site inspections and attendance at land preservation conferences, the Trustees meet at least monthly. These meetings are held in the Town Hall and are open to the public. Notices are posted on a calendar in the Town Clerk’s office as well as on the bulletin board outside the Town Hall and at the Brownell Library.
- Financial Data
As of July 1, 2020, the Town Treasurer, who manages and collects the Trust funds, held funds on behalf of the Trust in the amount of $1,831,486.82. At that time, the Trust had applications submitted to preserve 206.31 acres of land, estimated to cost in excess of $11 million. A total of 80.372 acres of land were preserved during the period, from July 1, 2019 until June 30, 2020.
During the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020 there were 60 transfer tax returns filed and $1,143,859.61 was collected. Additionally, private donations totaling $1,752,108.64 were received for which LCACT is extremely grateful.
Since its inception, the Trust has preserved or partnered with other organizations in preserving 2,142.63 acres of land. This includes the Trust’s outright ownership of 657.57 acres and the development rights to 1,366.69 acres, as well as partnering with other organization to preserve an additional 118.37 acres. A list of Trust’s acquisitions may be obtained in either the Town Clerk’s office or the Brownell Library or by visiting the Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust’s website at www.lcact.net. The Trust currently leases approximately 133 acres of fee owned agricultural land to farmers.
Any person interested in considering the sale of their land or the development rights, or making a gift of land or money, or appreciated securities, are invited to contact any of the Trustees listed below.
The Trust wishes to thank all the many individuals who have supported the Trust in its land preservation efforts.
Respectfully submitted by:
William Richmond, Chairman
Michael Steers, Vice-Chairman
Wayne Barker Montgomery