2021’s Forestry and Timber Tax Legislative Bills

The House has 33 bills & 2 LCs, the Senate 3 bills as of 2.5.2021

Harvest Tax Bills

2070 Harvest Tax – Governor

Regular biennial bill to set Harvest Tax rates for 2022 and 2023. OFRI is not addressed in this bill. Requires 3/5 vote.

 

2357 Harvest Tax – Salinas, Holvey, Golden, Pham, Wilde

Eliminates funding for Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) and directs equivalent moneys to a newly established Sound Forestry Practices Subaccount of State Forestry Department Account. Requires that revenue from levy of additional privilege tax under forest products harvest tax be credited to Sound Forestry Practices Subaccount. Directs use of moneys in account. Board of Forestry sets future rates.

 

2379 Harvest Tax is Included in Broad Bill – Holvey

Repeals the Harvest Tax.  Firefighting moneys currently collected with property taxes go to the new Wildfire Fund created in the bill.  Bill makes other significant changes, see also under Severance Tax. Requires 3/5 vote.

 

2389 Harvest Tax Indexed and Made Permanent – Marsh

Current Harvest Tax made permanent and indexed. Retains current uses for Harvest Tax, but the cap on the OFRI rate is doubled. Requires 3/5 vote.

 

2430 Harvest Tax – Nathanson

Ends practice of the legislature setting rates for the Harvest Tax every two years. Bill sets Harvest Tax rates beginning January 1, 2022 with amounts left to be determined in committee. Funds forest research, fire suppression, administering the Forest Practices Act and forestry education.  OFRI is not addressed in this bill. Requires 3/5 vote.

 

2598 Harvest Tax is Included in Broader Bill – Holvey (TFO)

Retains the Harvest Tax and ends OFRI funding by re-directing the OFRI portion for use by communities for fire and smoke safety preparedness, home hardening and community resilience. Bill makes other significant changes, see also under Severance Tax. Requires 3/5 vote.

 

Severance Tax Bills – All Require 3/5 vote

 

2379 Severance Tax – Holvey

Reinstitutes a Severance tax of 5% based on value. Tax on all public and private harvests except Small Tract Forestland. Distribution: 50% for new Emergency Wildfire Fund; 25% to counties for wildfire emergency preparedness, 15% for ODF for Forest Practices Act administration and monitoring, and 10% to Forest Research. Due annually. Repeals Harvest Tax and its Forest Land Protection Fund. Firefighting moneys currently collected with property taxes go to the new Wildfire Fund.

 

2598 Severance Tax – Holvey (TFO)

Severance tax of 8% based on value. Tax on all timber harvested from public and private forestland. Lower rates for no clear cutting and older stands. Distributes 70% to counties as property tax, 20% to state General Fund, 5% each for fire and grants to protect forest-sourced water.  Redirects OFRI funding to communities for fire and smoke preparedness. Repeals exclusion for first 25,000 board feet, board measure. Repeals exemptions for environmentally sensitive logging equipment and forest roads. Repeals special assessment for homesites on forestland. Increases minimum acreage of forestland eligible for small tract forestland status. Phases out small tract forestland with tax increases over three years. Increases penalties for noncompliance with Oregon Forest Practices Act.

 

LC 829 Severance Tax and DEQ responsibility expansion – Citizens Initiative

Reinstitute a severance tax of 6.5% for western timber and 5% for eastern timber, with the rates decreasing with age of trees.  Tax is on all harvests from public and private land as is the current Harvest Tax. Distribution: 60% to counties as property tax, 25% for watershed, 15% for home hardening and community readiness.  Requires quarterly payments. Redirects ORFI money.

 

Tax Credits & Exemptions

 

2632 Reforestation Tax Credit – Drazan, Bonham, Boshart Davis, Breese-Iverson, Evans, Levy, Owens, Reschke, G. Smith and Zika Reinstates a tax credit for reforestation that was in effect from 1979 to the end of 2011. Recovers 50% of the cost of planting and maintaining marginal vacant land including burned areas with no commercial timber salvage value. (See 2013-15 Tax Expenditure Report, page 198).

 

2782 Reforestation Tax Credit – DB Smith, Nearman, Owens, Reschke, Zika

Reinstates a tax credit for reforestation that was in effect from 1979 to the end of 2011. Recovers 50% of the cost of planting and maintaining marginal vacant land including burned areas with no commercial timber salvage value. (See 2013-15 Tax Expenditure Report page 198).

 

2633 CAT Exemption – Drazan, Boshart Davis, Nearman, Reschke, Zika

CAT exemption for contracts to repair or rebuild structures damaged by the wildfires of 2020.  Applies for tax years 2020, 2021 and 2022.

 

Funded Programs

 

2092 Oregon Youth Corps – Governor

Forest and stream restoration more easily included in the programs of the Oregon Youth Corps as reduces the minimum required time of paid service from 12 weeks to five weeks.

 

2298 Voluntary Eastern Oregon Stream Restoration – Helm, Owens, Findley, Dembrow, Evans

Fish and Wildlife to administer a 10-year program of stream restoration, with third party monitoring. To encourage the return of beaver and wetlands to Eastern Oregon. Reports due 2027 and 2032.

 

2572 Prescribed Fires – Marsh, Dembrow, Helm, Reardon, Frederick, Golden

Establishes and funds state Certified Burn Manager Program. Dismisses Burn Manager from liability unless negligent, in which case ODF can charge for cost of suppression of fire. Funding amount not yet stated.

 

2630 Protects School Districts Affected by Wildfire – Drazen, Breese-Iverson, Nearman, Owens, G. Smith  For five years school districts impacted by fire to experience no decrease in funding if average daily attendance drops.

 

2767 SW Oregon Gorse Wildfire Risk Reduction Fund – DB Smith

Establishes and funds with $1M the SW Oregon Gorse Wildfire Risk Reduction Fund, through the State Department of Agriculture. Program ends December 31, 2025.

 

2772 State Forester Allowed to Suppress Fires on Federal Land – DB Smith, Morgan

State Forester may order use of personnel, equipment, and services on federal lands in Oregon.

 

2773 Gives Management of Elliott State Forest to Coos and Douglas Counties – DB Smith

Transfers authority to manage, control and protect forest lands in their counties to each county. A pilot that sunsets in 2030.

 

2795 Good Neighbor Authority Agreement – DB Smith, Bonham, Leif, Zika

Allocates $5M to ODF to facilitate projects that reduce wildfire risks under a Good Neighbor Authority Agreement with the USFS or BLM. Funds to treat disease, reduce fuels, or improve forest and range land health. Costs should be recoverable from federal government.

 

SB 675 Pilot program harvesting timber after wildfire – Heard

Described as a pilot, but without any study element, directs ODF to choose one county and harvest timber after forestfires on ODF managed lands, encouraging replanting, sunsets 2030.

 

Task Force & Study Bills

 

2236 Task Force on Rural Fire Districts and Community Development – Wilde, Evans

Task force to recommend ways Rural Fire Districts can use their resources for community development after a wildfire.

 

2273 Forestry Task Force – Clem, Evans

“Relating to Forestry.”  Seven member task force to study and report on forest management by September 2022.

 

2289 Building in Wildfire Zone – Clem, Evans

“Relating to building in areas affected by wildfires.” The Housing and Community Services Department to study building in areas affected by wildfires and report by September 2022.

 

2614 Capacity to Grow Seedlings – Breese-Iverson, DB Smith, Bonham, Boshart Davis, Nearman, Owens, Stark, Zika, Knopp  ODF to study Oregon nurseries’ capacity to provide seedlings needed for reforestation because of fires by September 2022.

 

2620 Prisoners Employed to Fight Forest Fires – Schouten, Neron, Prusak, Salinas

Department of Corrections to study issues relating to adults in custody who fight forest fires and report by December 31, 2021.

 

2732 Improvement of Fire Protection – Witt, Evans

“Relating to wildfires.” Study and make recommendations regarding improvement of fire protection by September 15, 2022.

 

2794 Creates Land Use and Wildfire Policy Advisory Committee – DB Smith, Leif, Zika

Committee to study how to plan, manage and fund implementation of wildfire risk reduction. Report due February 2022.

 

2916 Blue-Green Task forces – Timber, Farm, & Marine – Williams

Task forces to study economic and environment issues in timber, farm and marine sectors.  In consultation with the Oregon Global Warming Commission, each task force to develop a plan to: accelerate greenhouse gas reduction and removal; enhance climate resilience; restore ecosystems; and identify opportunities for economic expansion in rural Oregon communities that have been impacted by declines in the forest products industry.  Reports due September 2022.

 

335 Study of the State Board of Forestry – Golden

Requires a study by and recommendations from ODF “Relating to the State Board of Forestry.”

 

337 Study of current forest policies – Golden

Requires a study regarding the efficacy of current forest policies. “Relating to forest policy.

 

Rebuilding after Fires

 

2234 Forest Building Codes, Insurance, Rebuilding after 2020 Fires – Wilde, Evans

Director of DCBS to develop urban-forest interface building codes and guidelines applicable when building, renovating or repairing in areas susceptible to wildfires.  Must require fire insurance adequate enough to rebuild and with required fire prevention actions. Buildings burned in 2020 may be rebuilt in accordance with original permit if rebuilt within three years.

 

2289 Building in Wildfire Zone – Clem, Evans

“Relating to building in areas affected by wildfires.” The Housing and Community Services Department to study building in areas affected by wildfires and report by September 2022.

This bill is also listed under Task Force and Study Bills

 

2576 Reconstruction of Manufactured Homes due to Fire – Marsh

After forest fires, requires that local governments approve reconstruction of manufactured home parks and allows re-zoning of other areas for manufactured home parks and exemptions from some building code requirements.

 

Others

 

2174 Forest Reserve Funds – Owens

Requires moneys moved from federal forest reserves be distributed through county-wide program if county requests.  It appears that the funding would be used for county-wide transit or road districts.

 

2573 Wildfire Response Planning – Marsh

Requires counties, under guidelines from the State Fire Marshal and ODF, to establish plans for effective fire protection services for at-risk land, which is land that is inadequately or under-protected based on guidelines to be established by the State Fire Marshal and ODF.

 

2706 State Lands – Zika, Breese-Iverson, Leif, DB Smith

Allows no clear cuts and requires reforestation on State lands. Allows thinning and collection of wood debris.

 

2770 Replanting Costs and Insurance for Small Tract Forestland – DB Smith

Court can award cost of replanting on private land if fire originated in federal forestland. DCBS is to assure insurance is available for protection against fire for Small Tract Forestland.

 

LC 1645 Small Tract Forestland and Forest Homesites – Wilde

Eligibility for Small Tract Forestland program changed from 10-4999 to 10-999 acres. Repeals Forest Homesite Special Assessment.

 

HJM 3 Urges Congress to pass and President to sign Feinstein Wildfire bill which appears to support industries interests in study wildfire and biomass, while ignoring environmental laws.