WASHINGTON, D.C. – American timber farmers’ concerns about recovering and replanting their forests after natural disasters were presented to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance last week during an open executive session on the “Clean Energy for America Act.”

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) offered an amendment to the energy bill to fix the federal tax code to allow timber farmers to deduct from their taxes the value of crops damaged by natural disasters. Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) indicated his support and stated, “I am very interested in working with my colleague on this.” FLA applauds this bipartisan step towards fixing the tax code for timber farmers.

“There is a glaring omission in the tax code when it comes to timber farmers. Under current law, if timber farmers lose all or even a portion of their crop to a hurricane, wildfire or other disaster, they are not allowed to deduct the value of that crop from their tax liability to recover that loss – now is the time for Congress to fix this,” said FLA CEO Scott Jones. “If policymakers are going to praise trees and forests for their environmental benefits while simultaneously linking climate change to increased natural disasters, it’s imperative we remove barriers to reforestation caused by these disasters and fix the flaw in the tax code.”

FLA worked in the 116th Congress with almost 50 policymakers to introduce bipartisan legislation fixing this issue and will continue this important work with the current Congress to move this issue forward.

“From Georgia to California, the Pacific Northwest down to the Gulf, this is a national problem that deserves a federal solution, and Congress already has the answer. We want to thank Senator Cassidy for raising this important issue and Chairman Wyden for his supportive statements, and we look forward to working with them and their colleagues in the U.S. Senate to get this across the finish line this year,” added Jones.