David Rockefeller Sr.’s gift of just over 1,000 acres of land around Little Long Pond in Seal Harbor to a nonprofit will reduce tax revenue by about $20,000 a year. PHOTO BY EARL BRECHLIN

Land gift to reduce tax revenue $20,000



MOUNT DESERT — David Rockefeller Sr.’s gift of just over 1,000 acres of land around Little Long Pond in Seal Harbor to the tax-exempt Mount Desert Land and Garden Preserve will reduce tax revenue here by about $20,000 a year.

Rockefeller, who turned 100 on June 12, announced the gift in May.

The gift comprises six lots totaling 1,022 acres with an assessed value for tax purposes of $2.79 million.

That figure would be much higher, but 668 acres are enrolled in the state’s Tree Growth Program, which drastically reduces the taxable value. The rest of the acreage is under conservation easements.

“They are enjoying an 80 percent reduction [in tax value] for the conservation,” said Mount Desert Assessor Kyle Avila. “That usually suggests that there is an ever-wild, never-to-be-developed provision, and public access is allowed.”

Rockefeller paid $18,885 in property taxes this year on the six lots he is donating to the Land and Garden Preserve.

The 2015-2016 tax year starts July 1, but property tax bills are sent to whoever owned the property as of April 1. At the new tax rate of $7.13 – up from $6.78 – per $1,000 of valuation, Rockefeller’s tax bill for the property he is donating will increase to about $19,810.

The property will be tax exempt starting next year.

The Land and Garden Preserve intends to maintain the donated Rockefeller property as it is and keep it open to the public. It already owns and maintains the Asticou Azalea Garden and Thuya Garden in Northeast Harbor.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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