Timber Severance Tax




Timber Severance Tax

Oregon has only a modest tax on harvested timber that just supports the industry. Unlike Washington state, Oregon doesn’t tax the value of trees when cut to compensate counties for reduced property taxes while the timber was growing.

Read about it: Timber Tax Citizen concept

… and more: How to Protect Our Water

Here are some questions to get you thinking.

What is the best severance tax design and use?

  • What percentage should be returned to the counties as property tax?
  • Who should be taxed? And what rate?
  • Revenue to protect watershed/drinking water
  • Best mechanism to incentivize better forest management?
  • Which forest management characteristics are most important for drinking water, fish protection and fire hazards?
  • Is fire protection an important use of this revenue? What aspects-fire resistant building materials, defensible space or fire suppression?

A rural community coalition has already designed their own tax bill.

Let’s discuss the details of their plan as laid out in the handouts attached or linked here and see what you would like to see accomplished!

Strategy: How will we make a tax severance plan happen?

  • What organizations do we need onboard?
  • Are county commissioners supportive?
  • Do we have the votes for a 3/5th majority?
  • The industrial timber industry is a powerful lobby, what would you say to counter their opposition?

Want to get involved? Contact Catherine Thomasson or Jody Wiser with the Tax Fairness Oregon 503-819-1170


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