KWOA encourages members of the Kentucky Woodland Community to contact their legislators in support of HJR 60, a joint resolution that would direct the Department of Revenue and the University of Kentucky's Forestry and Natural Resources Department to recommend equitable property tax assessment procedures for well-managed forests. Official wording for HJFR 60 is shown below. This resolution reflects the ongoing work of KWOA to advance the sustainability and fair tax treatment of private non-commercial forests. Full wording of HJR 60 is shown below posted on 2/11/2021. Also see the 1/28/21 posting for history and background regarding the resolution.
Please consider taking action now by calling the toll-free message line is 1-800-372-7181, to leave a messages for a legislators as follows:
You can track action on HJR 60 here: https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/21rs/hjr60.html
Official Wording for Proposed House Joint Resolution HJR 60
A JOINT RESOLUTION directing the Department of Revenue and the University of Kentucky's Forestry and Natural Resources Department to recommend equitable property tax assessment procedures for well-managed forests.
WHEREAS, well-managed, family-owned, non-industrial forests are central to providing the raw material that fuels the $13 billion in economic contributions from the forest industry sector annually, and
WHEREAS, incentivizing family forest owners, who own the majority of the forestlands in Kentucky, to conduct sound forest practices wiell help sustain the socio-economic benefits that forest resources provide to Kentucky; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to House Concurrent Resolution 13 of the 2002 Regular Session of the General Assembly, the Legislative Research Commission issued Research Report No. 307, which identified tax and related policies that had the effect of incentivizing or disincentivizing good forest management practices in the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, the examination of property tax issues impacting forest management practices in Research Report No. 307 produced conflicting views on how to equitably and constitutionally assess property taxes on well-managed forestlands; and
WHEREAS, this lack of agreement and failure to act upon the report's most important findings resulted in continued poor forest management of many forestlands in the Commonwealth and the potential unconstitutional taxation of forestland where sound forest management practices were being implemented; and
WHEREAS, significant developments have occurred since the issuance of Research Report No. 307 that would be helpful in finding the best policies for improving the productivity of Kentucky's forests, including the availability of a nationally-recognized standard that could be used by property valuation administrators to define well-managed forests;
Be it resolved by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:
Section 11. The Department of Revenue and the University of Kentucky's Forestry and Natural Resources Department shall coordinate together to submit a report to the Legislative Research Commission no later than December 1, 2021, detailing their recommendations for establishing property tax assessment procedures for well-managed forests that ensure equitable taxation of these lands and encourage sound forest management practices that will promote the sustainability of Kentucky’s forests and maximize the socio-economic benefits derived from them.
NRCS in Kentucky is accepting applications from eligible entities for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Agricultural Land Easements (ACEP - ALE). Applications must be made through eligible entities, not directly from landowners to NRCS. Please address any questions to Matt Hutchison at firstname.lastname@example.org or 859-224-7444.
The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Agricultural Land Easements (ACEP - ALE) focuses on protecting and conserving productive agricultural lands. Landowners are compensated for enrolling their land in easements.
Partners include state or local agencies and certain non-profits. Landowners continue to own their property but voluntarily enter into a legal agreement with a cooperating entity to purchase an easement. The cooperating entity applies for matching funds from NRCS for the purchase of an easement from the landowner, permanently protecting its agricultural use and conservation values. Eligible lands include privately owned cropland, pastureland and forestlands. Landowners do not apply directly to NRCS for funding under this program.
Applications from eligible entities for 2021 ACEP-ALE funding must be received by February 26, 2021 to be considered for the current funding cycle. Landowners who wish to be considered for ACEP-ALE must make application to an eligible entity. Entities interested in agricultural easements should contact their local USDA service center or visit the Kentucky NRCS ACEP-ALE website.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making $12 million available to forest landowners with land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program. Landowners and agricultural producers with active CRP contracts involving forest cover can now sign up for the Forest Management Incentive (FMI), which provides financial incentives to encourage healthy forest management practices.
The incentive payment is the lower of:
Carbon Credits: Carbon credit programs have been around for a long time, but currently are not economically feasible for owners with less than a few thousand acres or so. KWOA director, Jimmie Sizemore reported on two programs that promise to provide benefits for smaller woodland owners: