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What is Forest (Timber) Tax?

In 1971, state law excluded timber from property taxation. In place of a property tax on trees, timber owners pay a 5 percent excise tax on the stumpage value of their timber when it is harvested. In 1982, the Forest Tax was extended to timber harvested from State and Federal land, in addition to private land.

Who Pays Forest (Timber) Tax?

When timber is harvested from private land, the person who owns the timber at the time of harvest is responsible for the Forest Excise tax. Contractors performing labor and services for the timber owner are not responsible for the Forest Excise tax. When the owner of the timber cannot be determined, the landowner at the time of harvest will be responsible for the Forest Excise tax.

When timber is harvested from public lands, the owner is the first person (other than the public entity) to acquire title or possessory interest to the timber.

Who receives the Forest Tax revenue?

The revenue distribution from harvested timber is split between the counties and the State general fund. The timber is taxed at five percent, with four percent distributed to the county where the harvest occurred and one percent to the state general fund.

How do I file?

  • Anyone who intends to harvest timber on private land must obtain a permit. If a permit is not required, you must call the Department of Revenue at (800) 548-8829 to register and pay your tax.

  • A copy of your approved permit will be sent to the Department of Revenue. The Department will then mail tax reporting forms and instructions to you.

  • Forest Excise Tax is paid quarterly on all timber harvested during the previous quarter. The tax is due at the end of the month following the end of the calendar quarter.


If you have questions or need Revenue Forester assistance, please call the Forest Tax Section at (800) 548-8829 or (360) 534-1324 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or e-mail us.

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