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Qualified Forest Property

In September 2006 the General Property Tax Act (1893 PA 206, as amended) was amended to add the Qualified Forest Property (QFP) tax exemption (Public Acts 378, 379 and 380). The intent of this tax exemption is to encourage private landowners to manage their land for forestry by providing a property tax reduction as an incentive. Landowners approved for this tax exemption are exempt from some school operating taxes. Participating landowners are not required to allow public access on their land.

Landowners approved for this exemption must have a minimum of 20 vacant, contiguous acres (no buildings or structures are allowed), and are limited to exempting 320 acres per taxing unit. Landowners must manage their land with an approved forest management plan or forest management plan certified by a third-party certifying organization. Participating landowners are required to report to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) annually the amount of timber produced on this land and whether any buildings or structures have been constructed on the land.

The amount of land eligible for the qualified forest property tax exemption state-wide is limited to 300,000 acres beginning in 2008 which will be the first year land may receive this tax exemption. Landowners wishing to be considered for this tax exemption must submit a "Claim for Qualified Forest Property Tax Exemption" (Michigan Department of Treasury Form 4449 "Affidavit") available on the Michigan Department of Treasury webpage at http://www.michigan.gov/taxes/0,1607,7-238-43535_43537-154841--,00.html. The Affidavit, two copies of the forest management plan (and two copies of any third party certification, if applicable) and a plan review fee must be submitted prior to November 1, in order to be considered for the tax exemption in the following tax year.

The local tax collecting unit assessor will determine if the land is qualified forest property based upon a recommendation from the DNR that the landowner has an approved forest management plan and after determining the acreage limitation has not been exceeded. Forest management plan requirements are prescribed in the 2006 PA 378 and are summarized in the plan requirements summary provided below.

If you have more specific questions about the forest management plan or third-party certifying organizations please feel free to contact the DNR Service Forester for the county in which your land is located. A list of DNR Service Foresters and information regarding third-party certifying organizations is provided below. The DNR also offers a cost share program for the creation of forest management plans through the Forest Stewardship Program. If you are interested in this type of program please contact:

Debra Huff, Forest Stewardship Coordinator
Forest
, Mineral & Fire Management
Department of Natural Resources
517-335-3355
huffd@michigan.gov

If you have specific tax questions relating to the qualified forest property tax exemption please contact:

Harold Anderson, Manager
Assessment Review Unit
Assessment and Certification Division
Michigan Department of Treasury
517-373-3327
andersonh@michigan.gov

Information Taken From www.michigan.gov/dnr



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1705 4th Avenue North - Escanaba, MI 49829
Phone: (906) 786-3488 - Fax: (906) 233-9548


Dean R. Francis - dean@michiganforesters.com
James T. Green - todd@michiganforesters.com