Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Join

The leading advocate for the rights of private forest owners in the United States.

 

 

 

Sign In


Calendar

6/26/2018 » 6/29/2018
2018 National Conference of Private Forest Landowners

6/18/2019 » 6/21/2019
2019 National Conference of Private Forest Landowners


 Home

The Forest Recovery Act
Share |

Urge your member of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 4962, the Forest Recovery Act

FLA member Joe Hopkins worked with his U.S. House of Representative to write and introduce legislation that eliminates the 'basis limitation rule,' allowing any individual or business who grows trees with the intent of sale, to deduct up to the fair market value lost, helping landowners to get back on their feet after a catastrophic event.  Representative Buddy Carter (R-GA), has introduced H.R. 4962, the Forest Recovery Act after seeing firsthand the devastation natural disasters can cause to timber land and understanding the financial loss when such a catastrophic event occurs.

"This is not a loss of the type that is generally referred to as a paper loss. This loss is real. In our particular case, we had pine stands that were worth $24 per ton in the morning and were worth $12 a ton by late afternoon because of the West Mims fire. We also had stands of timber that were 10 years old that we had to chop down and pile up in order to get the land ready to replant, receiving no income whatsoever. Unlike other agricultural products, we do not have crop insurance," said Hopkins.
 
"I stated to Congressman Carter that I would like for someone to explain to me how I can lose $12 a ton on standing timber in one afternoon but yet I haven't suffered any economic loss. He agreed that it was a problem that needed a resolution and in his office has worked diligently to draft and introduce the Forest Recovery Act."

"I introduced this legislation because we have seen devastating fires and hurricanes in Southeast Georgia recently. I heard straight from timber farmers and introduced this legislation to ensure this industry, which is critical to rural economies, is able to recover after a catastrophic event," stated Carter.

The devastation of Joe Hopkin's property after the fire.

Congressman Carter tours Joe Hopkin's property 5 months after the fire. Understory has already started, but the devastation of the trees remains.

Click to take action

 "Timber takes 20 to 80 years before it is able to be cut and sold," noted Carter. "This makes it extremely difficult for timber farmers to recover after a catastrophic loss. Unfortunately, the current system provides no recourse for these farmers during times of catastrophic loss. This is pushing landowners away from timber farming, limiting available forest products, hurting rural economies, and fails to protect our environment.

A forest landowners worst fear is to lose his or her trees to a catastrophic event, such as a fire or hurricane.  Under the current 'basis limitation rule,' nearly 70% of timber farmers must eat the cost of their loss, losing their income for the year and waiting another 20 plus years until their trees mature enough to cut and sell.

Under current law, a timber farmer may deduct from his or her taxes the lesser of either the fair market value lost or the amount of their basis after a catastrophic event.  However, to encourage people to farm trees, the tax code allows farmers to deduct their basis over 7 years in the tax code.  If trees are lost after 7 years, then the basis has most likely been fully deducted and the tax code sees the basis as 0, meaning it is the lesser of the 2 deduction options disallowing timber farmers to deduct anything after a catastrophic event.

While most crops are eligible for crop insurance, timber is not eligible and private sector insurance is expensive and filled with gaps in coverage. This legislation eliminates the 'basis limitation rule,' allowing any individual or business who grows trees with the intent of sale, to deduct up to the fair market value lost, helping landowners to get back on their feet after a catastrophic event.

Click to take action

 
 

 

NAVIGATION

LOCATION

CONTACT US

Join
About Us
Donate
Members
Magazine
Policy Issues
Events
Get Involved
Home
News
Resources
Action Alerts
3300 Highlands Parkway, STE 200
Smyrna, GA 30032
Google Map
Toll-Free: 800.325.2954
Phone: 404.325.2954
Fax: 404.325.2955
Email: info@forestlandowners.com