Current Status and Trends in Timber Severence Tax Legislation in the South
Severance tax programs currently exist in eight States in the South. These laws have been enacted primarily to encourage better forest management and to provide revenues for a variety of forestry initiatives. In most States, either the severer or the primary processor of forest products is designated as the taxpayer. Severance tax rates are established as either: (1) a fixed amount per unit of measurement or (2) a percentage of the value of timber harvested. Severance tax receipts have increased across the South since 1987, a trend that will continue if anticipated demand for southern wood products is realized.