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DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY

 

DIVISION 23

FOREST TAXATION

Western Oregon Forest Land Tax

629-023-0310

Management Standards

(1) Purpose. Under ORS 321.367, the State Forester must report to the appropriate county assessors all lands designated as forest land under ORS 321.358 which were logged prior to 1973 and fail to meet minimum stocking standards. excluded from the report are lands which are under an acceptable management plan for achieving the stocking requirements. Also the State Forester is required to determine if lands under the Western Oregon Severance Tax system are being managed as forest land. The following management standards will apply in making the determination and review:

(2) Stocking. Stocked lands are lands which support established and maintained forest trees in accordance with standards of land productivity, minimum density, acceptable species, variances, and prior approval procedures found in the appropriate Regional Administrative Rules of ORS Chapter 527.

(3) Over Mature Stands. Over mature stands are:

(a) Even aged conifer stands at culmination of mean annual increment in board feet Scribner, or 90 years of age, whichever occurs later;

(b) Uneven aged conifer stands, if these stands contain 10,000 board feet or more per acre in mature trees; mature trees are those which have reached culmination of mean annual increment in board feet Scribner or are 90 years old or older, whichever occurs later;

(c) Stands will not be considered over mature if they are being held for purposes of sustained yield or for other management reasons acceptable to the State Forester.

(4) Schedule for Meeting Standards. Forest owners under the Western Oregon Severance Tax program shall proceed to bring their lands into stocked, not over mature condition, within a reasonable time period. Conversion activities of nonstocked lands logged prior to 1973 and evidence of acceptable management planning or remaining lands will be monitored by the State Forester. At any time the State Forester has reason to believe lands are not being converted to a stocked condition or are not being managed as forest land, he may require a plan detailing the owner's intentions for complying with the requirements of ORS 321.367.

(5) Maintenance Practices. Maintenance practices including site preparation, planting, animal damage control, and release may be needed to meet the above standards. Protection from fire, insect, and disease is also needed as required in ORS Chapters 477, 478, and 527.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 321 & ORS 526
Stats. Implemented: ORS 321.358 & ORS 321.367
Hist.: FB 51(Temp), f. & ef. 10-13-77; FB 3-1978, f. & ef. 1-6-78; FB 6-1980, f. 3-5-80

629-023-0320

Reporting Underproductive or Unmanaged Forest Land

(1) Under ORS 321.367, the State Forester must report to the appropriate county assessor the location of all designated forest lands that were logged prior to 1973 and are suitable for growing and harvesting timber and fail to meet the minimum stocking requirements under ORS Chapter 527. The State Forester must also report other unmanaged forest lands.

(2) For the purpose of this rule the following definitions and procedures will apply:

(a) "Just Cause for Inadequate Stocking". The State Forester will consider all evidence presented by the landowner in determining "just cause" for areas of low stocking or non-management. "Just cause" may include recent acquisitions, severe sites, environmental problems or other conditions beyond the control of the owner;

(b) "Acceptable Management Plan". The State Forester will accept all management plans that contain sufficient information to insure that the required stocking or management will be achieved within a reasonable time period. The plan must have:

(A) A legal description of the underproductive or unmanaged lands;

(B) A map showing the location of underproductive or unmanaged lands;

(C) A description of the method(s) for meeting the management standards prescribed by OAR 629-023-0310;

(D) A time schedule for completion.

(c) "Reasonable Time". The reasonable time that will be allowed in the owners management plan for achieving the required stocking levels will be based on total ownership. The plan must show that the following percentages of suitable acres of forest land will be in a stocked or managed condition by: 50 percent within five years, 60 percent within six years, 70% within seven years, and 80 percent thereafter;

(d) "Unmanaged Forest Land". Forest lands that are not in compliance with the management standards as defined in OAR 629-023-0310 will be considered as unmanaged;

(e) "Reportable Units". The State Forester will report units of underproductive forest land and non-managed forest land when:

(A) The underproductive or unmanaged acreage is more than half the tax lot acreage or 20 acres,whichever is less; and

(B) The units are of a size that can be managed as a unit based on topography, the size of the adjacent stands, and the location of the unit in relation to property lines.

(C) There is no acceptable plan that would lead to compliance with OAR 629-023-0310.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 321 & ORS 526
Stats. Implemented: ORS 321.367
Hist.: FB 6-1980, f. & ef. 3-5-80

Underproductive Forestland Conversion Tax Credit

629-023-0410

Purpose of the Rules

(1) Under ORS 315.104 certain taxpayers may claim a tax credit for 50 percent of the reasonable costs of forestation of underproductive commercial forestland.

(2) Under ORS 315.106 the State Forester will establish and collect a tax credit application fee for the administration of the reforestation tax credit program.

(3) The purposes of administrative rules 629-023-0410 to 629-023-0490 are to establish fees for the administration of the program, to clarify administration of the tax credit by the State Forester and to define an applicant's appeal rights under this credit.

(4) The State Forester may periodically change the tax credit application fee so that revenue generated by the fee will be adequate to recover the costs to administer the tax credit program.

(5) The State Forester will make available a copy of the fee schedule upon request by a taxpayer.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 315 & 526
Stats. Implemented: ORS 315.104 & 315.106
Hist.: FB 5-1980, f. & ef. 3-5-80; FB 8-1982, f. & ef. 9-10-82; FB 2-1986, f. & ef. 1-10-86; FB 9-1990, f. & cert. ef. 10-25-90; FB 6-1996, f. 7-9-96, cert. ef. 7-15-96; DOF 4-2002 f. & cert. ef. 6-18-02; DOF 1-2006(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-3-06 thru 6-29-06; DOF 5-2006, f. 5-2-06, cert. ef. 6-1-06

629-023-0420

Definitions

(1) "Appropriate sites" means those sites capable of producing a commercial hardwood or softwood stand which meet the definition of commercial forestland and are planted with suitable forest tree species.

(2) "Commercial forestland" means land for which a primary use is the growing and harvesting of forest tree species.

(3) "Forest tree species" means those species that are ecologically suited to the planting site, capable of producing commercial forest products, and marketable in the future as determined by the State Forester.

(4) "Hardwood harvests conducted for the purpose of converting underproductive forestland" means the harvest of an area occupied by a low volume and low value stand in which significant commercial harvest of forest tree species is not possible as defined in OAR 629-023-0440(2), or the landowner can demonstrate that the stand is or was unmerchantable by showing a negative economic return.

(5) "Negative economic return" means the costs that result from the harvest, such as logging, taxation and reforestation costs, exceed the market value received or to be received.

(6) "Project Costs" mean costs paid by the taxpayer to afforest underproductive forestland. For projects planted on or after January 1, 2008, the tax credit application fee is a project cost.

(7) "Reasonable costs" mean:

(a) Costs that a prudent person in the field of forestry would be willing to pay for a product or service; and

(A) Are competitive; and

(B) Associated with generally accepted practices listed in OAR 629-023-0440(3)–(9); or

(b) Costs that are otherwise approved by the State Forester.

(8) "Reasons beyond the control of the taxpayer" means:

(a) Natural disaster including fire, flood, landslides, unusual weather conditions, and other natural incidents as determined by the State Forester; or

(b) The forest is not established even though the project was completed in accordance with the specifications of OAR 629-023-0440 as determined by the State Forester.

(9) "Reasons under the control of the taxpayer" means the reforestation project was not completed in accordance with the specifications of OAR 629-023-0440 as determined by the State Forester.

(10) "Tax credit application fee" means a nonrefundable fee that is paid by the taxpayer, in accordance with OAR 629-023-0450(2), at the time the written request for preliminary certificate is filed with the State Forester.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 315 & 526
Stats. Implemented: ORS 315.104 & 315.106
Hist.: FB 9-1990, f. & cert. ef. 10-25-90; FB 6-1996, f. 7-9-96, cert. ef. 7-15-96; DOF 4-2002 f. & cert. ef. 6-18-02; DOF 1-2006(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-3-06 thru 6-29-06; DOF 5-2006, f. 5-2-06, cert. ef. 6-1-06; DOF 5-2008, f. 8-1-08 cert. ef. 9-1-08

629-023-0430

Eligible Project Costs

For projects planted on or after January 1, 2008, the application fee is an eligible project cost. For all projects, eligible project and plantation establishment costs incurred by the taxpayer to forest underproductive forestland may include labor (does not include labor performed by the taxpayer), supervision, material, and equipment operating costs for the following:

(1) Site preparation;

(2) Planting, or with State Forester approval, seeding;

(3) Release;

(4) Moisture conservation;

(5) Erosion control;

(6) Animal damage control.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 315 & 526
Stats. Implemented: ORS 315.104 & 315.106
Hist.: FB 9-1990, f. & cert. ef. 10-25-90; FB 6-1996, f. 7-9-96, cert. ef. 7-15-96; DOF 4-2002 f. & cert. ef. 6-18-02; DOF 1-2006(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-3-06 thru 6-29-06; DOF 5-2006, f. 5-2-06, cert. ef. 6-1-06; DOF 5-2008, f. 8-1-08 cert. ef. 9-1-08

629-023-0440

Standards and Specifications

To qualify for a credit, the State Forester must determine that the forestland, prior harvest, and project comply with the following standards and specifications:

(1) Forestland must be capable of producing at least 20 cubic feet of wood fiber per acre at culmination of mean annual increment. Site productivity can be determined directly by tree growth and stocking measurements within the operation area, or determined indirectly using applicable USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service soil survey information, USDA Forest Service plant association guides, Oregon Department of Revenue western Oregon site class maps, or other sources.

(2) Prior to harvest the area contains no more than an allowable average of 80 square feet of basal area per acre. Measurable trees are those softwood species, 6 inches dbh and larger, and hardwood species, 11 inches and larger. Conifers may amount to no more than 50 percent of the allowable basal area.

(3) Site Preparation. The planting spot for each tree must be free from competing vegetation and slash. This may be accomplished by:

(a) Bulldozing, plowing, discing, mulching, or scalping;

(b) Hand slashing;

(c) Aerial or ground application of various chemicals;

(d) Controlled burning;

(e) Any combination of above.

(4) Planting Stock. Seedlings must be from a seed source and elevation compatible with the planting area. The seedling size, stem caliper, and root to top ratio must be suited to the project site.

(5) Planting Operations. Planting operations must be conducted as follows:

(a) Seedlings must be planted at the same depth as they were in the nursery seed bed with roots straight in the soil;

(b) The planting may be with any forest tree species as defined in OAR 629-023-0420(3), or as approved in a plan for an alternate practice with the State Forester;

(c) The planting may occur any time the trees are dormant and the ground is not frozen, snow covered, or extremely dry.

(6) Release. The taxpayer must use all measures necessary to control competing vegetation to insure survival of the seedlings.

(7) Moisture Conservation. The taxpayer must use all measures necessary to control loss of moisture and increase the chance of survival of the seedlings. This may include a combination of cultivation, mulching, or the use of chemicals.

(8) Erosion Control. When necessary the taxpayer must use water barring, contour cultivation practices, or other methods to prevent erosion.

(9) Animal Damage Control. When necessary the taxpayer must use treated planting stock, grass control, repellents, protective casings or other approved methods to control animal damage.

(10) The taxpayer has paid the tax credit application fee to the State Forester in accordance with OAR 629-023-0450(2)

(11) Project costs are reasonable and must be $500 or more after deducting all financial assistance received from any federal, state or other incentive program.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 315 & 526
Stats. Implemented: ORS 315.104 & 315.106
Hist.: FB 9-1990, f. & cert. ef. 10-25-90; FB 6-1996, f. 7-9-96, cert. ef. 7-15-96; DOF 1-2006(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-3-06 thru 6-29-06; DOF 5-2006, f. 5-2-06, cert. ef. 6-1-06; DOF 5-2008, f. 8-1-08 cert. ef. 9-1-08

629-023-0450

Preliminary Certificate Issuance

(1) The project is completed when the minimum number of well-distributed seedlings has been satisfactorily planted. The minimum number required under this section is the same as required under the reforestation rules of the Oregon Forest Practices Act.

(2) The preliminary credit application submitted to the State Forester by the taxpayer must include:

(a) Payment of the tax credit application fee in the amount in effect on the date the preliminary certificate is filed;

(b) A single project area; or

(c) Multiple project areas if approved by the State Forester;

(d) A project map;

(e) The tax year (the year the trees were planted) for which the credit is claimed;

(f) Whether claimant status is as an individual, partnership, or corporation;

(g) The applicant's name, address, social security number or employer identification number;

(h) The legal description of the property including the county;

(i) The number of acres eligible for the tax credit;

(j) The approximate date each activity was completed;

(k) The amount of federal or state cost share or other incentive program funds received; and

(l) The taxpayer's reasonable eligible project costs.

(3) The tax credit claimed on the preliminary certificate may be retained by the taxpayer in the event that a new forest is not established when all of the following conditions exist:

(a) The taxpayer made a reasonable effort to meet the project specifications of OAR 629-023-0440;

(b) The reasons the new forest is not established are beyond the control of the taxpayer;

(c) The measures performed by the taxpayer would normally have resulted in establishing the minimum number of trees per acre.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 315 & 526
Stats. Implemented: ORS 315.104 & 315.106
Hist.: FB 9-1990, f. & cert. ef. 10-25-90; FB 6-1996, f. 7-9-96, cert. ef. 7-15-96; DOF 4-2002 f. & cert. ef. 6-18-02; DOF 1-2006(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-3-06 thru 6-29-06; DOF 5-2006, f. 5-2-06, cert. ef. 6-1-06; DOF 5-2008, f. 8-1-08 cert. ef. 9-1-08

629-023-0460

Final Certificate Issuance

The State Forester will issue a final certificate when the new forest is established.

(1) The forest is established when at least the minimum number of seedlings as required in OAR 629-023-0450 have survived two or more growing seasons and are free to grow without severe competition from other vegetation.

(2) The final credit application submitted to the State Forester by the taxpayer will include:

(a) The tax year for which the credit is claimed;

(b) The number of acres where additional treatment was needed to establish the new forest;

(c) The date the additional treatment was completed;

(d) The amount of federal or state cost share or other incentive program funds received; and

(e) The taxpayer's reasonable eligible project costs.

(3) A final certificate will not be issued when the new forest is not established due to reasons beyond the control of the taxpayer. In such a situation, the taxpayer may requalify for a tax credit in the same manner as a new applicant.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 526

Stats. Implemented: ORS 315.104 & 315.106

Hist.: FB 9-1990, f. & cert. ef. 10-25-90; FB 6-1996, f. 7-9-96, cert. ef. 7-15-96; DOF 4-2002 f. & cert. ef. 6-18-02; DOF 1-2006(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-3-06 thru 6-29-06; DOF 5-2006, f. 5-2-06, cert. ef. 6-1-06

629-023-0490

Appeal Rights

A person who wishes to appeal a decision made by the State Forester regarding this credit will use the following procedure:

(1) Person must notify the Department of Forestry field representative in writing that they disagree with the decision and explain why they disagree.

(2) If an impasse exists with the field representative, the person may write the department's Forest Tax Programs Manager in Salem, within 90 days of the field representative's determination, requesting an appeal to the Board of Forestry stating the basis for the appeal. The appeal is filed when it is received in the Forest Tax Programs Manager's office. Nothing in this rule precludes the manager from disposing of a controversy by informal conference. Appeals are made to the Board of Forestry using the Model Rules of Procedure under the Administrative Procedure Act. Under these rules the person will be provided a contested case hearing by a hearings officer, whose findings are forwarded to the Board of Forestry for review and action.

(3) If the person wishes to appeal the decision of the Board of Forestry, an appeal must be taken to the Oregon Tax Court within 60 days of the Board's action.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 526
Stats. Implemented: ORS 315.104 & 315.106
Hist.: FB 9-1990, f. & cert. ef. 10-25-90; FB 6-1996, f. 7-9-96, cert. ef. 7-15-96; DOF 1-2006(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-3-06 thru 6-29-06; DOF 5-2006, f. 5-2-06, cert. ef. 6-1-06

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