Winter Timber Sale

Forest Recovery Act

A tax measure introduced by Congress will help forest landowners after natural disasters.

Photo by Steven Kamenar

A tax measure that will help forest landowners replant after natural disasters has been introduced in Congress by a bipartisan group of Senators and Members of the House of Representatives. The measure will allow forest owners, including private families, to deduct the full value of timber damaged and destroyed in a natural disaster.

The bill, sponsored in the House by Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL), and in the Senate by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Sen. Rafawl Warnock (D-GA) is intended to provide economic certainty that is currently lacking by fixing the tax code and allowing forest landowners the ability to replant trees quickly.

According to the Forest Landowners Association which applauded the legislation, private forest landowners include families and small timber companies that manage their land to not only produce wood products but to keep their forests healthy and productive to pass down to the next generation. These landowners face immense financial burdens when needing to reforest their lands after a natural disaster, which is often compounded at tax time when they find their ability to claim a casualty loss for destroyed timber is limited, often to zero dollars.

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