Forest Management and Tax Plans

Landowners who own 20 acres or more of woodland are eligible for the Present Use Value Assessment Program. The North Carolina General Assembly enacted legislation in 1973 enabling county tax departments to consider the “use value” of specific properties rather than the “market value” in determining a tax assessment. The intent of this law was to give tax relief to farm and forest tracts held by families and to protect these tracts from being sold because of higher taxes brought on by appreciating land values and higher market assessments. Changes have been made to the law since 1973 but the intent has not changed. In some cases landowners have received more than a 90% reduction in property taxes by enrolling in the program.

As part of the application for forest present use assessment a management plan must be submitted with the application. The forest management plan must be written by a NC Registered Forester.

Information in the Plan will include…

  • A detailed woodland map showing different forest stands, streams, and forest roads
  • Statement of the landowners objectives
  • Individual stand inventory including a description of each stand, species, age, size, current condition and future potential to produce mature timber
  • A timeline for management practices and harvest dates
  • Regeneration plans for each stand after harvest
  • Recommended management practices including thinning, disease control, invasive species control and herbicide applications
  • Protection and maintenance of forest roads, boundary lines, streams and fire breaks