Thanks to a recent law change, forest landowners in Georgia now have another option to consider when it is time to conduct their property tax planning. The change was brought by House Resolution 51 and its enabling legislation (House Bill 85) passed in 2018. A new class of real property–Qualified Timberland Property (QTP)–was created for ad valorem tax purposes. Qualifying forest landowners can start an application beginning in tax year 2020. An unusual feature of this law is that it vests the appraisal of QTP properties with the state and not the county. This would improve uniformity of timberland valuation for ad valorem tax purposes in Georgia.
In September 2020, the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation Farm Monitor interviewed UGA Harley Langdale, Jr. Center for Forest Business Director Bob Izlar on the various property tax incentives for Georgia property owners. This interview is based on Langdale Center Research Note # 3, Property Tax Incentives for the Georgia Landowner, 7th Edition, 2020.
The Langdale Center for Forest Business has released its 2020 Revision of the ever popular Langdale Center for Forest Business Research Note Number 3, Property Tax Incentives for the Georgia Landowner, which was first published in 1993. This 192-page book is a review of all the ad valorem tax incentives offered by the State of Georgia to Georgia Landowners including Agricultural Preferential, Conservation Use Valuation (CUVA), Timber Tax calculations and payments, the Forest Land Protection Act (FLPA) and the new Qualified Timber Property (QTP) tax class.
The book continues with the popular format of a summary of each section followed by pertinent Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) sections and major court cases.
From the Preface:
This is the sixth revision of the popular Property Tax Incentives for the Georgia Landowner, University of Georgia Harley Langdale, Jr. Center for Forest Business Research Note Number 3. It expands the June 2012 revision to include an exhaustive treatment of all pertinent ad valorem taxation legislation, Department of Revenue rules and regulations and some court cases through the 2017 General Assembly legislative session. Each intervening year has seen some change to ad valorem tax law relating to farm and forest owners including the landmark 2008 Forest Land Protection Act.
Table of Contents:
• Table of Contents
• Importance of ad valorem taxes and fair market value assessment
• Preferential assessment for agricultural and forest property
• Conservation use assessment
• Forest Land Protection Act
• CUVA vs FLPA
• Recent ad valorem legislation
• Timberland valuation
• Ad valorem taxed on timber at harvest or at sale for harvest
• Income tax withholding by timber buyers from non-resident timber sellers
• Summary and implications