FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2021
Bipartisan Tax Legislation Introduced to Help Forest Landowners Recover After Natural Disasters
WASHINGTON, DC –The Forest Landowners Association (FLA) applauds the introduction of bi-partisan H.R. 4210: The Disaster Reforestation Act, sponsored by Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL-07) and Buddy Carter (R-GA-01), which allows family and private timber growers to recover from the loss of timber destroyed by natural disasters and reforest their lands.
Private forest owners include families and small timber companies that produce products like lumber. These landowners face immense financial burdens when needing to reforest their lands after a natural disaster, which is compounded at tax time when they find their ability to claim a casualty loss for destroyed timber is limited to zero dollars.
“Forestry is a vital part of rural economies all across our country,” said Rep. Carter. “Unfortunately, the current tax code provides no recourse for working forests struck by natural disasters. I’m proud to work with Congresswoman Sewell and our partners from across the country to address this issue. The Disaster Reforestation Act will ensure timber farming is a viable way of life, protecting the many jobs and consumer products it supports and its positive impact to our environment.”
“Alabama’s beautiful forests keep our economy, our environment, and our people healthy,” said Rep. Sewell. “But when disaster strikes, our private forest owners are often left devastated and without the ability to quickly recover. By fixing our tax code, the Disaster Reforestation Act offers a helping hand to Alabama’s private forest owners as they work to reforest after natural disasters. I am so proud to introduce this legislation and urge my colleagues to support it.”
Representatives Sewell and Carter have shown that they understand how important forest landowners are to rural economies, strong domestic wood supply and as a natural climate solution. The introduction of this bill will provide for the equitable tax treatment of casualty loss of their timber crop when disaster strikes.
“America’s forest landowners have been waiting for this fix in the tax code for a long time and as wildfire and hurricane seasons ramp up, they are appreciative of Representative Sewell and Carter’s efforts to get this important bill moving,” said CEO Jones. “The legislation will not only help timber owners recover from natural disasters but will stimulate rural economies, support our nation’s domestic timber supply, and provide environmental benefits to the nation.”
From Georgia to California, the Pacific Northwest to the Gulf, this is an issue of national importance that deserves a federal solution, and Congress already has the answer, pass the bi-partisan Disaster Reforestation Act. FLA looks forward to continuing to work with Congress to advance this important legislation.
In addition to FLA, more than 35 other forestry and conservation organizations support fixing the tax treatment of timber casualty losses.