Helpful hints

TAx Tips

  • Timber Basis - The value of timber at the time at which you bought the property. This value is subtracted from the value of the timber at the time of harvest to determine how much tax you are required to pay. For more information, check out the article linked here. <>https://timbertax.org/getstarted/basis/

 

  • Have a large tract of timber? It may make more sense to spread the harvest of the timber into multiple sales over multiple years to avoid a huge tax burden in one year. This is also a good way to ensure a base level of income over those years as well.  

 

  • Land-use taxes - In many (but not all) counties in Virginia, forested acreage can be taxed differently than regular real estate taxes. A forest management plan is required to qualify. Start by talking with a qualified tax professional to determine if your property may qualify. More info here: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/land-conservation/tools06

 

  • The Riparian Tax Credit is a great way to offset the taxes incurred from the sale of your timber. If your property is in the state of Virginia, and you leave an appropriate riparian buffer (as per the guidelines), then you can be eligible to receive a tax credit for a percentage of the value of the timber left standing. **A Forest Stewardship Plan is required to apply for the tax credit. Check out <>http://www.dof.virginia.gov/tax/credit/riparianbuffer/index.htm for more information.

Wildlife Habitat

  • Timber harvests are a great way to improve the wildlife habitat of your property. The new flush of light to the forest floor will sprout new growth of herbaceous plants which are very beneficial to white-tailed deer and turkey. The new growth will also serve as great nesting cover for many small bird species.

 

  • Honey bees are one of the most important pollinators in America today and they are threatened by habitat loss and disease. Planting logging decks back with pollinator species is a great way to offer a new food source to local bee populations. Their are also some cost-share programs available to help offset the cost of planting. Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) biologist to find out more their cost-share programs.<>https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/va/home/

 

  • Large tracts of pine do not offer a whole lot for wildlife. However, with a proper thinning plan you can increase the value of the habitat by adjusting the thinning rate in several locations throughout the stand. Yes, this will have a minor effect on the value of the timber stand as a whole but the difference will be almost negligible. 

Forest Management

  • Pine thinnings are one of the most technical services that a forester can provide. There are numerous things to look out for and to consider. Market fluctuations, stand health and vigor, climatic considerations are only just a few. Many loggers know how to mechanically thin a stand but few know how to technically thin a stand. Understanding pine growth and response is pivotal to maximizing the economic potential of a timber stand. 

 

  • Many companies offer "select cutting" as a service for hardwood timber stands. On the surface it sounds great to harvest some trees and still have some standing for wildlife, aesthetics, or future harvest. However, without the guidance of knowledgeable forestry consultant, what many landowners are left with are the poorest quality trees still standing. A forester should be acting upon your interests and sustainable forest management. Therefore, you should be left with trees that will respond and increase in economic value for future harvest. 

 

  • Do you know that you want to sell a tract of timber, but you can't decide when is the best time? Consulting foresters constantly have their ears open to changes in the market. Let your consulting forester put your tract "in their pocket" and let the market decide the time frame. If you have your tract signed up and ready to be sold, then the early steps (which can take a week or more to occur) will be out of the way, and your forester can jump on the opportunity as soon as the market wants your timber.