Classified Forest Program Threatened

Important Message from Liz Jackson
Indiana Forestry & Woodland Owners Association

There is [a] bill we need to watch. Senate bill 308 increases the assessed value per acre of classified forest land, classified windbreaks, and classified filter strips from $1 per acre to $13.29 per acre for the January 1, 2017, assessment date. For assessment dates after January 1, 2017, increases the assessed value by the annual percentage change in the consumer price index.

This is NOT coming from the Division of Forestry or the DNR, this is coming from the tax people and neither us nor the DNR knew in advance. The additional assessment goes to the county, not to the Division. This could be the effective end to the Classified program, we think this would be nearly a wash between Classified and Ag assessment for woodlands (analysis is pending). The Classified program has been a very important and effective way to grow our forested acres and keep them forested so this is not a good thing. Too early to tell if this will move forward but it is riding with other language to fix problems with ag assessments, so it could move.

It has been assigned to the Senate Tax & Fiscal Policy committee. If any of you have these senators, please consider sending them a message telling them that you oppose these changes to the Classified program as it is a critical program that helps keep our lands in woods and preventing conversion to other uses.

Sen. Brandt Hershman

Sen. Travis Holdman

Sen. James Buck

Sen. Ed Charbonneau

Sen. Luke Kenley

Sen. Pete Miller

Sen. Ryan Mishler

Sen. James Smith

Sen. Greg Walker

Sen. John Broden

Sen. Jean Breaux

Sen. Frank Mrvan

Sen. Lonnie Randolph


Liz Jackson

Indiana Forestry & Woodland Owners Association

1007 North 725 West

West Lafayette, IN 47906-9431

Phone (765) 583-3501 FAX (765) 583-3512



    Jennifer Shank-Maxwell wrote on January 24, 2016

    A few years back, I worked in county government that directly dealt with property taxes. I worked in the Auditor's office. Property taxes have always been the swampland before the gates of hell. Every year, the state lawmakers try to pass changes that make property taxes a nightmare. Most unfriendly laws are placed as piggy backs on bigger laws the politicians know have a change to pass. I do not understand why people can not see how important our forests are!

    Dave Richards wrote on January 18, 2016

    Sounds like a "typical Republican invisible tax increase plan"--that way, they can say that they have not increased anyone's taxes!! Add this to the excessive deforestation of our State Forests! This is counterproductive to the "reforestation" we need to counteract climate change--+more stupidity from our State politicians! Dave R

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