In January 2014, a coalition of forestry organizations including Forest Landowners Association sent the following letter
to the Senate Finance Committee outlining the importance of our timber tax expenditures. Update: February 27, 2014Tax Reform Discussion Draft Released
Chairman Dave Camp of the House Ways and Means Committee
released his tax reform discussion draft Wednesday, February 26th. The draft hit most
industry groups hard including forestry where all of our 3 most important tax
expenditures were repealed. It also takes away the benefit to timber
REIT's. As you would expect, this is alarming but here is where things
stand right now. Tax reform will not pass in this congress. Speaker
Boehner laughed when asked during a press conference if he would bring tax
reform to the floor this year and Senator Mitch McConnell declared it
dead. However, it is widely believed that this discussion draft from Camp
has laid the foundation for reform in the next congress so we must work on the appropriate
members of congress to ensure we retain our expenditures.
Bi-Partisan Support for Timber Tax Provisions Urged by 30 Members of Congress and more than 50 Forestry Organizations
FLA has been engaged in making the Committee of Ways and Means aware of the impact and importance of key timber tax provisions. Two letters have been sent to the House Ways and Means Committee; one from their piers in Congress and a second from the forestry community.
A letter spearheaded Reps. Benisheck (R-MI), Michaud (D-ME) and Sewell (D-AL) was singed by thirty members of Congress and sent to Chairman Camp and Ranking Member Levin urging support for key timber tax provisions of the Ways and Means Committeeâ€™s bipartisan Working Groups as they review and evaluate the tax code with an eye toward comprehensive tax reform. The letter
specifically outlined three key timber tax provisions as critical for maintaining productive, healthy, working forests.
A follow-up letter was sent by the forestry community
urging the Committee to consider, as Congress has long recognized, that timber is a long-term investment, decisions to invest in timber were made decades ago, and changing the tax treatment would significantly and negatively impact investments in working forests that contribute to economic growth and environmental quality.
The letter emphasized that the timber tax provisions have provided long-term, stable returns for the many individuals who directly or through pension funds rely on their forestland investment for retirement and other needs. At the same time, these timber tax provisions have well served the nation, consumers and manufacturers, forest owners and the environment.