Forest Land Conservation Use - State of Georgia tax

The GEORGIA FOREST LAND PROTECTION ACT OF 2008 (O.C.G.A. 48-5-7.7) provides for an ad valorem tax exemption for property primarily used for the good faith subsistence or commercial production of trees, timber, or other wood and wood fiber products and excludes the entire value of any residence located on the property. 

Forest land conservation use property may include land that has been certified as environmentally sensitive property by the Department of Natural Resources or property that is kept in accordance with a recognized sustainable forestry certification program.  The property may have secondary uses such as the promotion, preservation, or management of wildlife habitat; carbon sequestration in accordance with the Georgia Carbon Sequestration Registry; mitigation and conservation banking that results in restoration or conservation of wetlands and other natural resources; or the production and maintenance of ecosystem products and services such as, but not limited to, clean air and water. 

This 15-year covenant agreement between the taxpayer and local board of assessors is limited to forest land tracts consisting of more than 200 acres when owned by an individual or individuals or by any entity registered to do business in Georgia.  Property that qualifies for forest land conservation use assessment and that is already receiving preferential or current use assessment can be changed one time to a forest land conservation use covenant without penalty.


Due Date for Application in Tax Year 2009

For the taxable year beginning January 1, 2009, all applications for conservation use assessment under this Code section 48-5-7.7, including the covenant agreement required under this Code section, shall be filed on or before June 1 of the tax year for which such conservation use assessment is sought, except that in the case of property which is the subject of a reassessment by the board of tax assessors an application for conservation use assessment may be filed in conjunction with or in lieu of an appeal of the reassessment.


Due Date for Application beginning Tax Year 2010

For each taxable year beginning on or after January 1, 2010, all applications for conservation use assessment under Code section 48-5-7.7, including the covenant agreement required under this Code section, shall be filed on or before the last day for filing ad valorem tax returns in the county for the tax year for which such conservation use assessment is sought, except that in the case of property which is the subject of a reassessment by the board of tax assessors an application for conservation use assessment may be filed in conjunction with or in lieu of an appeal of the reassessment.

Beginning January 1, 2010, in most counties the due date for the application will be April 1, but in some counties the date will be March 1.

TAX NEWS - NOVEMBER 2009

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