Michigan’s Qualified Forest Program
The purpose of the Qualified Forest Program (QFP) is to encourage landowners to actively manage their privately owned forests for commercial harvest, wildlife habitat enhancement, and improvement of other non-forest resources. In exchange for managing their forests in a sustainable fashion, the landowner will receive an exemption from the local school operating millage.
What is Michigan’s Qualified Forest Program?
The Qualified Forest Program (QFP) provides a property tax exemption on privately-owned forest property that is considered to be Qualified Forest Property. In exchange for the property tax exemption, landowners must manage their forests in a sustainable fashion for commercial harvest, wildlife habitat enhancement, and improvement of other non-forest resources. Management of the forest resources must be consistent with a professionally-developed forest management plan.
How does land qualify for the QF Program?
- Parcels must be 20 acres or larger to qualify.
- Parcels from 20-39 acres must be at least 80 percent stocked with forest capable of producing wood products.
- Parcels from 40-640 acres must be at least 50 percent stocked with forest capable of producing wood products.
- A forest management plan is required for the parcels being enrolled.
The program provides two potential tax benefits for enrolled landowners: 1) Maximum 18 mill reduction of school operating taxes on non-homestead property under the Qualified Forest School Tax Affidavit. 2) Under a Taxable Value Affidavit, prevents the “uncapping” of a property’s taxable value when a parcel currently enrolled under the qualified forest program changes ownership. Public Access Allowing public access is not a requirement on land enrolled in the Qualified Forest Program.
How to Apply:
Contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for information about the program or visit our website at www.michigan.gov/qfp. You may also check with your local conservation district to determine if they can assist you.
- Visit www.michigan.gov/qfp to download the application instructions and forms.
- Hire a forester to develop your forest management plan. A list of foresters eligible to write plans for the Qualified Forest Program is available on the QFP website.
- Follow the instructions and submit the following for a complete application: » Forest Management Plan » QFP Application » QFP Practice Schedule » Copy of a recent property tax bill for each parcel in the application » Copy of the most recent deed and/or land contract for each parcel in the application » $50 Application Fee.
- Application materials should be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Complete applications must be received by September 1 prior to the tax year the exemption is requested.