FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - 7

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Reform Could Threaten Tax
Laws Regarding Timberland
By MICHAEL DOONER, Florida Forestry Association President

B

enjamin Franklin famously wrote that nothing in this world is certain but death
and taxes. The current political environment in Washington, D.C, has shown him
to be half right. The trending appetite for tax reform, combined with the variety
of visions as to what that should entail, has left only death as a sure bet.
As of this writing, both the House and Senate tax reform proposals have been
released. With a final vote expected on December 22 to meet the president's Christmas
deadline, the path to final passage will be brief but intense, with many opportunities
for revisions and amendments to the tax reform plan along the way.
Reform is, of course, just another word for change. And change is not always a
good thing. That's particularly true when the object of change could be federal tax
laws regarding timberland.
For decades, these tax provisions have reflected the economics of the long-term
and capital-intensive nature of investments required for timberland. They allow timber income to be treated as capital gains and also permit timber to be classified as
property instead of inventory. Landowners can deduct expenses for timber-growing
costs and deduct and amortize reforestation costs.
These provisions enable landowners to afford forest health treatments that reduce
the risk of forest fires, pest invasion and erosion. They make road maintenance,
research, weed control, fertilization and replanting financially possible. Removing
these provisions from the tax code would have a devastating effect on the hundreds
of thousands of private timberland owners in Florida. Some would not be able to
continue to keep their lands forested.
However, timberland owners would not be the only parties affected. The negative
consequences would impact those who are involved in planting, maintaining and harvesting the timber and other forest resources, as well as those who purchase and use
them. Considering that forest resources are used in more than 5,000 items, including
paper, building materials, food, cell phones, televisions, medicines and much more,
their loss would undoubtedly change the landscape of our daily lives.
The forest industry plays a vital role in the economy and the environment as well.
Both would take a major hit if the provisions were lost.
At this point, both the House and Senate have maintained all the timberland tax
provisions. We will, of course, continue to work closely with our partners at the federal level to make sure this continues to be the case as the process moves forward.
In addition to the importance of these provisions, this issue highlights the importance of political engagement in and of itself. Legislation that is crucial to our industry can be changed within a matter of weeks. Individually and collectively, we need
to stand ready to mobilize at all times. We need to have the necessary contacts and
relationships in place. The Association serves us well as the voice of the industry, but
we must also be ready and willing to speak for ourselves.
I cannot encourage you enough to act now. Reach out to your policymakers on all
levels. Educate yourself on the issues. Learn how the legislative process really works.
Become part of the solution before another potential problem raises its ugly head.
Amid all the uncertainty that may face us now and in the coming year, there is one
thing you can count on: the Association will be here for you. Working together, we
will continue to move forestry forward. *
Florida Forests 7 Fall/Winter 2017

LEGISLATION THAT
IS CRUCIAL TO OUR
INDUSTRY CAN BE
CHANGED WITHIN A
MATTER OF WEEKS.
INDIVIDUALLY AND
COLLECTIVELY, WE NEED
TO STAND READY TO
MOBILIZE AT ALL TIMES.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017

Executive Outlook
President’s Message
Forestry’s Economic Impact on Florida
Serving Floridians Through Wildfires and Storms
A Post-Hurricane Guide to Managing Invasive Tree Pests
Celebrating the Best in Forestry
Annual Meeting 2017
Log a Load for Kids Makes a Million!
Snapshots
Products & Services Marketplace
Index of Ads/ advertisers.com
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - Intro
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - cover1
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - cover2
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - 3
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - 4
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - 5
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - Executive Outlook
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - President’s Message
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - 8
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - Forestry’s Economic Impact on Florida
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - 10
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - Serving Floridians Through Wildfires and Storms
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - 12
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - 13
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - 14
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - 15
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - A Post-Hurricane Guide to Managing Invasive Tree Pests
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - 17
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - Celebrating the Best in Forestry
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - 19
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - Annual Meeting 2017
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - 21
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - 22
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - Log a Load for Kids Makes a Million!
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - Snapshots
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - 25
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - 26
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - 27
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - Products & Services Marketplace
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - 29
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - Index of Ads/ advertisers.com
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - cover3
FLORIDAForests - Fall/Winter 2017 - cover4
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