Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Tamara Cushing; Steve Bullard; John Greene; Ted Beauvias
    Date: 1998
    Source: Proceedings of the Society of Amercian Foresters 1998 National Convention, Taverse City, Michigan, Sept. 19-23, 1998
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (91 KB)


    The federal estate tax is designed to tax the accumulation and transfer of wealth. Between 1987 and 1997, the estate tax was as high as 55% of assets above $600,000. Timber and land values have increased significantly in many areas of the U.S. in recent years, and in some circumstances heirs liquidate timber, or sell or develop portions of inherited timber and agricultural lands to pay federal estate taxes. To better understand how the estate tax is affecting timberland owners, a survey was conducted of members of the Mississippi Forestry Association in 1998. Survey questions involved estate values, and estate tax liabilities that were incurred between 1987 and 1997. Respondents were asked if it was necessary to harvest timber, or to sell land to pay federal estate taxes. Responses were obtained from 1,365 people (a 65% response rate), and results indicate that the federal estate tax was a contributor to the conversion of forest and agricultural lands to other uses during this period. One hundred eighty-one of the 1,365 respondents were involved in an estate between 1987 and 1997. Forty-seven percent of the estates exceeded the $600,000 exemption; twelve percent of the estates exceeded $3 million and were taxed at the highest marginal rate. Thirty-five percent of the estates paid federal estate taxes. Approximately seven percent responded that timber was harvested or land was sold to pay federal estate taxes.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Cushing, Tamara; Bullard, Steve; Greene, John; Beauvias, Ted. 1998. The Effects of the Federal Estate Tax on Nonindustrial Private Landowners. Proceedings of the Society of Amercian Foresters 1998 National Convention, Taverse City, Michigan, Sept. 19-23, 1998


    Estate, Taxes, Nonindustiral Landowners

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page