Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.                 Advocate for the Forest Owner

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June  2003 News Conference for Forest Owners
Sponsored by Alabama Forest Owners' Association, Inc.
Conference was recorded Wednesday, June 18, 2003.

to Listen to the

This conference and all future conferences will be in the .mp3 format, which is compatible with Windows Media Player and most other media devices.


cilhayes.jpg (3561 bytes)

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 Alabama 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?

Dwight Steedley 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


Land and Ownership Changes if Tax Package Becomes Law  

Dave Laband (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 easements?
  • Will they pass the tax increases along to hunters?

phone: (334) 844-1074


Dr. John L. Greene


Federal Tax Cuts Benefit Forest Owners 

John Greene  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 50 percent...
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: click here.

phone: (919) 549-4093


Robert Crabtree


Wanted: Pinestraw

Robert Crabtree is owner of Pinestraw 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 Control (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, click here.

To read the book on line or print a copy, click here or click here.

To request a printed copy, call (828) 257-4830, or email and ask for GTR-SRS-62.

Weblinks of Interest:

phone: (334) 826-8700 x 36


Wade Camp


Market Report

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 reasons. 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 following.

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
  • TMDLs
  • EPA Basin Projects
  • CARA
  • Forest Certification
  • 2002 Farm Bill
  • Energy Crisis & Federal Eminent Domain
  • Red Hills Salamander
  • State or Local Issues
  • Constitutional Revision/Tax Reform
  • County Zoning
  • Right to Farm & Practice Forestry
  • Illegal Dumping
  • Delaney Family Current-Use Case
  • JeffCo Storm Water Management Program
  • Current Use Tax Assessment Rates
  • Local Harvesting Restrictions & Road Weight Limits
  • Bridge Repairs & the Alabama Trust Fund
  • Dog Hunting & Hunter Trespass
  • Forest Management Issues
  • Seasonal Forest and Wildlife Management Tips
  • Southern Pine Beetle: Salvage & Prevention
  • Forest Fertilization
  • Intensive Forest Management
  • Long Rotation Management & Natural Regeneration
  • Technology
  • Palm Pilots & Forest Records
  • Useful Computer Software
  • Markets
  • Industry Consolidation & Timber Markets
  • Stumpage & Forest Product Markets
  • Forestland For Sale
  • Wood Buying Policies During SPB Epidemic
  • Alabama's Pine Straw Wholesale Market
  • Minerals, Gas & Oil Activity
  • Recreational Businesses for Forest Owners
  • Forest Taxation