CAPITAL IDEAS -- LIVE!
June 2003 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
Conference was recorded Wednesday, June 18, 2003.
SCROLL DOWN FOR CONFERENCE GUEST INFORMATION
Hayes D. Brown
starting time: (00:00)
Hayes D. Brown, attorney and forest owner, will moderate this
news conference. Hayes' email address is
Click Here to View & Hear Prior News Conferences.
L. Louis Hyman
Current-Use Assessment: On path of self-destruction
Lou Hyman has
held many positions of leadership in the
Forestry Commission, but the one area of expertise that AFOA
usually calls on Lou for help is that of taxes. We call on him today to
describe how the current-use assessment is determined for forestland.
Governor Riley's $1.2 billion tax package relies heavily on property tax
increases and much of the increase forest owners will face is linked to
the denial of current-use assessment or significant increases in the
current-use assessed values. Lou has provided us with a short report on
How Current Use Works in Alabama
(click here to read).
Editor's note: The Federal
Land Bank interest rate from Lou's
Table 1 for 2001 is 5.90% and AFOA's estimate of the rates to be
applied in 2002 and 2003 are about 4.3% and 4.0%, respectively. Those
new low rates will reduce the running 10 year capitalization rate (the
denominator) in the current-use formula
enough to cause 15% current-use assessment increases in each of the next 2
years, even if the Governor's tax package referendum fails on September
9. If low interest rates persist, the current-use formula will
produce astronomically high property assessments. The current-use
system is about to self-destruct and will be abandoned by all forest
owners if it isn't repaired soon.
phone: (334) 240-9354
Rebecca Wright Pritchett
Property & Income Tax Exemptions: Present & Proposed
Rebecca Pritchett is Chair of the Environmental Department
at Sirote & Permutt,
P.C., a Birmingham-based law firm with offices in Huntsville and
Mobile. You have probably heard of property tax and income tax
exemptions, and we have asked Rebecca to tell us a little about current
exemptions and as much as she knows about exemptions that might be
created if the Governor's tax package referendum passes on September 9.
Editor's note: AFOA has
received calls from members asking: Why isn't income from state employee
pensions taxed while the income from my private "forestland pension" is
taxed? Under the Riley Tax Package will my first 200 acres of forestland
be exempt from property taxes? Is there any way around having to live on
my farmland to get the farmstead exemption?
May 28 Sirote & Permutt Summary of
Governor's Proposed Tax Legislation
June 13 Bradley Arant
State and Local Tax Bulletin pdf file posted 7/10/03
phone: (205) 930-5140
Dr. Dwight Steedley
State Government & Personal Income: How do we rank?
is the President of the Mobile County Landowners Association
and has been an outspoken critic of property tax increases and increasing
regulation on the use of property. The Mobile County Landowners
Association has developed a
Position Statement: Governor Riley's Tax Increase Proposal (click
here to read) that you will find useful when discussing the Tax
Package with friends and neighbors.
For more details on this topic
from MCLA, click here to
read a Special Edition of The Mobile Landowner. MCLA
associate membership for landowners outside of Mobile County is only $5
per year. Send your mailing address and payment to: Jacque Shumock,
13575 Tanner Williams Road, Wilmer, AL 36587.
U.S. Census Bureau Data
phone: (251) 675-9250
Dr. David Laband
and Ownership Changes
if Tax Package Becomes Law
(click and scroll down for bio) is a professor in the Forest
Economics Department at Auburn University and lists among his
research interests "The political economy of environmental regulations"
and "the causes and consequences of government regulation."
We asked him to tell us how
forest owners will react to significantly higher property taxes.
Will they sell their land?
Will they place their land under conservation
Will they pass the tax increases along to
phone: (334) 844-1074
Dr. John L. Greene
Federal Tax Cuts Benefit
is a forest economist with the USDA Forest
Service and a co-author of the
Forest Landowners' Guide to the Federal Income Tax. John
recently co-instructed a Forest Tax Workshop in Birmingham where
he described several provisions of the new federal tax law that will be
of interest to forest owners.
Jobs and Growth Tax Relief
Reconciliation Act of 2003 (click here for John's full summary)
Enacted May 28, the Jobs and Growth Tax
Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 contains three provisions that are of
particular interest to forest owners:
1. The tax rate on long-term
capital gains is reduced...
2. The temporary depreciation “bonus” ... is increased from 30 percent to
3. The limit on the section 179 deduction for purchases of qualifying
depreciable property is increased...
Dr. Greene has written
detailed instructions for locating specific information on the web that
you will need to understand these new rules:
phone: (919) 549-4093
is owner of
Specialists, based in Ohatchee, Alabama. Robert hand rakes 300
to 500 bales per week and is looking for pine plantations to rake within
50 miles of the Anniston/Gadsden area. He pays about 50 cents per bale
and has been averaging 50 to 70 bales per acre.
AFOA urges you to check references of any buyer of pine straw or other
forest products. Also be sure to prevent unhappiness by developing a
well written contract, not a handshake.
phone: (256) 892-2844
Dr. James H. Miller
Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests
A Field Guide for Identification and Control
Jim Miller is
a research ecologist and team leader based at the U.S. Forest Service
Auburn Unit of the
Southern Research Station. He has authored a book that will be
of interest to many forest owners. Entitled Nonnative Invasive
Plants of Southern Forests - A Field Guide for Identification and
(GTR-SRS-62), the small book is crammed full of plant photos and control
methods. If you are struggling with kudzu or cogon grass control, you
will understand why Miller put this book together.
To read a press release
about the book,
To read the book on
line or print a copy,
click here or
To request a printed copy,
call (828) 257-4830, or email
firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for GTR-SRS-62.
Weblinks of Interest:
phone: (334) 826-8700 x 36
Wade Camp is
Director, Market Services for the
Southern Forest Products
Association based in Kenner, Louisiana. "SFPA was founded in
1915 and is one of the oldest nonprofit trade associations in the forest
products industry. SFPA represents Southern Pine lumber manufacturers
from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida,
Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas." Wade
completed a survey in May that displays a worrisome problem for mill
owners and stumpage growers alike. Many mills are on the verge of going
out of business because of mill overcapacity and a variety of other
Alabama mills are experiencing some of the highest delivered raw material
costs in the South.
Click here to view the results of the SFPA survey. (pdf file)
phone: (504) 443-4464
Issues and Topics AFOA is
To suggest an issue or a
topic for a future news conference,
please send an email note to AFOA by clicking here.
- National or Federal Issues
EPA Proposed Water Quality Trading
- Energy Bill
- CCA Treated Southern Pine Lumber
- EPA Basin Projects
- Forest Certification
- 2002 Farm Bill
- Energy Crisis & Federal Eminent
- Red Hills Salamander
- Constitutional Revision/Tax Reform
- County Zoning
- Right to Farm & Practice Forestry
- Illegal Dumping
- Delaney Family Current-Use Case
- JeffCo Storm Water Management
- Current Use Tax Assessment Rates
- Local Harvesting Restrictions &
Road Weight Limits
- Bridge Repairs & the Alabama Trust
- Dog Hunting & Hunter Trespass
- Seasonal Forest and Wildlife
- Southern Pine Beetle: Salvage &
- Forest Fertilization
- Intensive Forest Management
- Long Rotation Management & Natural
- Palm Pilots & Forest Records
- Useful Computer Software
- Industry Consolidation & Timber
- Stumpage & Forest Product Markets
- Forestland For Sale
- Wood Buying Policies During SPB
- Alabama's Pine Straw Wholesale
- Minerals, Gas & Oil Activity
- Recreational Businesses for Forest