In 2012 Idaho forest landowners will have an opportunity to redesignate their forest property tax option. Provisions of the 1982 tax law allow landowners the opportunity to change their tax option every ten years, and 2012 is a designated “change year.”
Idaho forest landowners can select between two different property tax options – Productivity or Bare Land & Yield. Under the Productivity option, landowners are taxed on the value of their bare land and timber on an annual basis. Property values under this option vary between areas of the state, but in 2012, depending on soil type, values in Zone 1 (Boundary, Bonner, and Kootenai Counties) ranged from $518 per acre to $128 per acre. With the Bare Land & Yield option, landowners are taxed on their bare land annually, with a 3 percent yield tax due when forest products are sold. Again, values vary within the state, but range from $149 per acre to $61 per acre in Zone 1.
Which option to choose depends on a landowner’s ownership objectives and current forest condition. Obviously, if you don’t anticipate harvesting much timber in the foreseeable future, the Bare Land & Yield option may be best for you. But there are potential complications. For example, with this option deferred taxes are due if there is a land use change, or if the landowner changes the option from Bare Land & Yield to Productivity.
A few points to keep in mind regarding the re-designation opportunity:
If you do not want to change your designation, do nothing. Your current tax option will roll forward for the next ten years.
If you want to change options, complete an “Owner’s Designation of Forest Tax Option” form by December 31, 2012. The form is available from your county assessor.
As mentioned earlier, if you change from Bare Land & Yield tax option to the Productivity option, there will likely be a deferred tax due.
On the other hand, if you change from the Productivity to the Bare Land & Yield option, there are no deferred taxes due.
More information on this subject is available from our office or your county assessor.