183-15 Surrender of private land. Any person may, on agreement with the department of land and natural resources, at any time surrender to the government the care, custody and control of any lands, whether held under lease or in fee, as forest or water reserve lands, either for a term of not less than twenty years, or forever. The surrender agreement may reserve to the surrendering party all, part, or none of the rights to the water located or arising on or flowing through such surrendered lands. The agreement shall be in writing and shall contain the proviso that the government may develop and improve the lands through plantings and erosion control and may construct such improvements thereon as may be allowed by the agreement. On any land that is surrendered after May 19, 1972, the government shall not retain title to any improvement, and the party surrendering shall not, at the end of the surrender period, be required to pay the government the value of any timber or other crops planted during the term of surrender.

No taxes shall be levied or collected on any private lands so surrendered so long as the land remains exclusively under the control of the government as a forest reserve; provided that if the lands so surrendered are withdrawn without the consent of the department prior to the expiration of the twenty-year period as provided for above, the tax exemption privilege shall be canceled retroactive to the date of the agreement of surrender and all taxes that would have been due shall be payable with a five per cent per annum penalty from the respective dates that these payments would have been due; provided that nothing herein shall be deemed to limit the power of the department to impose, as a condition to the granting of its consent, conditions, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, those relating to the use of such lands, and may also require the payment of a portion of the taxes that would have been due. Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude the State from pursuing any other remedy to enforce the agreement entered into at the time of surrender. [L 1903, c 44, 11; RL 1925, 593; RL 1935, 182; RL 1945, 1017; RL 1955, 19-5; am L 1957, c 234, 4; am L Sp 1959 2d, c 1, 22; am L 1961, c 132, 1; am L 1965, c 265, 1; HRS 183-15; am L 1972, c 97, 1; am L 1988, c 337, 6]



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