Below are the initial policy issues that we have identified, which need to be addressed by our state legislators and regulatory agencies.
- Reduce the $10.68/acre MFL property tax rate so as to make it more comparable to the average use value tax of $3.17/acre placed on other agricultural lands that are actively managed for production.
Develop Closer Agricultural Ties
- Include timber sales in the Manufacturing and Agricultural tax credit that reduces the state income tax rate from 7.9% to 0.4% on agricultural crops. WAFO strongly recommends that the growing of timber be recognized as an agricultural crop. MFL tax rates need to be compatible with those applied to other agricultural lands if we expect landowners to grow the fiber needed by our forest products industry in a profitable manner.
- Define working forests as an agricultural use in Statutes and Codes
- Develop stronger ties with local County Land Conservation Committees
- Increase recognition of the public benefits forest lands provide to the economy and the environment.
Testimony on Senate Bill 543
Senate Committee on Workforce Development, Forestry, Mining, and Revenue- March 19, 2014
Wisconsin’s Threatened Forest Lands – April 24, 2014