Skip to Main Content
State property tax incentives for promoting ecosystem goods and services from private forest land in the United States: a review and analysisAuthor(s): Michael A. Kilgore; Paul B. Ellefson; Travis J. Funk; Gregory E. Frey
Source: e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–228. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Southern Research Station
Download Publication (2.0 MB)
Related Research Highlights
State programs to reduce forestland property taxes vary in requirements and implementation.
DescriptionFinancial incentives provided by State property tax programs are a means of promoting ecosystem services from private forest land. Identified by this 50-State 2015 review, categories of ecosystem services frequently promoted by such programs are open space and scenic resources, conservation of soils and wetlands, protection and supply of fish and wildlife, protection and supply of water, production of timber and fiber products, recreational uses and resource preservation, and integrity and sustainability of forests. Focusing on the promotion of these services, preferential property programs required participants to meet certain conditions, including proof of legitimate ownership and use of forest land, appropriate size of parcel and forest conditions, implementation of a professionally prepared forest management plan, informing authorities of intent to harvest timber, engaging in reviews and inspections, and acceptance of the imposition of financial or procedural penalties. Implementation of these conditions required actions by various agencies in many levels of government, most frequently offices of local governments, citizen advisory committees and boards, tax review appeals and equalization boards, forestry boards and commissions, forestry divisions within State natural resource departments, and State departments of finance and revenue. In 2014, promotion of ecosystem services from private forest land involved 58 different State property tax programs enrolling nearly 210 million acres of forest land nationwide. With enrollment in any one program ranging from 400 to more than 413,000 participants, more than 3.85 million participants were the immediate beneficiaries. These participants cumulatively received more than $1.61 billion in annual property tax reduction for purposes of promoting ecosystem services. The annual value of this reduction was an acre-weighted average of $7.68 per acre
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
CitationKilgore, Michael A.; Ellefson, Paul B.; Funk, Travis J.; Frey, Gregory E. 2017. State property tax incentives for promoting ecosystem goods and services from private forest land in the United States: a review and analysis. e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–228. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest
Service, Southern Research Station. 174 p.
KeywordsEcosystem services, private forest land, property tax programs, tax incentives.
- State property tax programs promoting sustainable forests in the United States: A review of program structure and administration
- Private forest owners and property tax incentive programs in the United States: A national review and analysis of ecosystem services promoted, landowner participation, forestland area enrolled, and magnitude of tax benefits provided
- A comparison of participants and non-participants of state forest property tax programs in the United States
XML: View XML