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Thursday, November 21, 2013

House OKs Tax Break for Timber Harvesters

State Rep. Matt Gabler’s bill that gives a tax break to timber harvesters – similar to breaks already given to farmers and others in the agriculture industry – has passed the State House, and now heads to the Senate.

Gabler’s bill would amend the Tax Reform Code to exclude the purchase of machinery, equipment and parts used in timbering, just as farmers currently enjoy a sales tax exemption on the purchase of tractors, combines, tools, feed, and fertilizers used in their operations.

“Foresters and farmers both manage a crop, but the Department of Revenue does not allow them to both be classified under agriculture,” Gabler said in a news release. “That designation is the catalyst for my legislation, which will also protect local jobs, benefit consumers and help our local economy by allowing local timber producers to remain competitive.”

Craig Timm, regional public affairs manager for Domtar, which runs the Johnsonburg paper mill, says the bill will directly support the forest products industry and Domtar's suppliers, many of whom are family-owned businesses.

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