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Timber Talk 11/27/17

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Wednesday, November 29, 2017
 To view previous issues advance pages with buttons at the bottom of this page.

Important Notice: OFA's 614 area code phone and fax numbers have changed! The new phone number is 1-888-38-TREES (888-388-7337). The new fax number is 740-452-2552. Please update your records accordingly and change any speed dials you might have set up for us.

OFA Issues & Advocacy Update Following are some of the issues that we have been working on and/or tracking since our last update. Most of our time in late September through mid-October was consumed with preparing for and running OFA’s trade show, The Paul Bunyan Show, but we still found time to work on other issues.

Local

  • Road use issues for loggers and sawmills have been an ongoing priority. UPDATE: We are still working on road permitting and use issues in Trumbull County. There has not been a lot of movement since my last update.  More to come later.
  • Mohican Memorial State Forest – We met with State Representative Romanchuck on October 31, 2017 to discuss with him our support for the proposed changes to the current management plan of the Mohican Memorial State Forest that will benefit both the forest, and the industry. We also participated the next day in a media event at the Mohican State Forest. We are scheduled to meet again with Rep. Romanchuk and a few of his constituents on Dec. 4. The Forestry Advisory Committee will also be holding a special meeting at the Mohican State Forest on Dec. 7.
  • Dry-Kiln Cooperative – OFA and some of its members, along with the OSU South Centers, the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth, and others, have been working on a potential Dry-Kiln Co-Op in southern Ohio that would boost dry kilning capacity in that area for both large and small industry lumber producers. UPDATE: The project team met again on November 6, 2017, to continue moving this proposed project forward. Stay tuned!

Statewide

  • We have spent a lot of time and effort in addressing the issues with forest landowner taxes through the CAUV and OFTL programs.
    • CAUV: As previously reported, we recently received information to the effect that forest land owners in Pike County have been receiving inaccurate information from the Auditor’s office concerning their requirements for having commercial or non-commercial timber acreage enrolled in the CAUV program. We tried addressing the situation directly with the Auditor’s office, with no success. We, along with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, have sent information on these issues to the Ohio Department of Tax Equalization asking them to contact the Pike County Auditor to get things corrected there. We hope to be able to update this situation in a positive manner in our next OFA Issues & Advocacy update. UPDATE: I requested a conversation with the Pike County Auditor on Nov. 8. I have not received any feedback from the Auditor or her office on that request. I will be contacting her again. I also forwarded the information surrounding this problem to the County Auditors Association. They are currently digesting it, but have not gotten back to me yet. Again, if you have concerns with your county, please contact me.
    • OFTL: We continue to support rule changes to the Ohio Forest Tax Law program that have been requested by the Ohio Division of Forestry.
  • Ohio Division of Forestry (DOF) Budget: We have met with the new Forest Economist hired by the Ohio State University, Sayeed Mehmood, and asked him to work on a project to update the economic impact of Ohio’s direct forest products industry, and specifically on the state’s tax revenues generated by the industry. This information is critical to our attempts to support the Ohio Division of Forestry (DOF) and their many beneficial programs. The DOF is a very active and important partner with OFA. UPDATE: This requested study has been completed and should be released soon.
  • Wood Markets: Markets for residual wood materials continue to be a big problem in parts of Ohio. We continue to monitor progress on a couple of potential projects, and are continually looking for opportunities to help address this problem.
  • Industry Recognized Certificates for Schools: The Ohio Department of Education recently accepted OFA’s CSAW Level 1 and 2, and the Best Management Practices for Logging in Ohio, as Industry Recognized Certificates for Schools. UPDATE: We met with educators from a couple different areas the state on November 2, 2017, and provided them with information about these credentials and discussed the best way to get them to students. Sometime after the first of the year we will begin working with a school in the Loudonville area as our first pilot in this process.

National

  • As reported earlier, there are several national level issues that can affect the forest products industry. Following is an update on some of the national issues that we have been supporting and advocating for.
  • UPDATE: The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017 in early November. It now moves on to the U.S. Senate.
  • The Forest Resource Association recently provided us the following update on Federal Tax Reform.

The House passed H.R. 1 the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act -- their version of tax reform: This vote was a first step toward accomplishing comprehensive tax reform.  This legislation passed 227-205; House Members who voted for that the bill should be commended.  The Senate Finance Committee also passed their version of tax reform out of committee on a party-line vote 14-12.

FRA was able to identify and keep a provision potentially harmful to the long-term future of independent contractor status out of this legislation.  A proposal called the GIG Act would have allowed for a 5% withholding from independent contractors and could have led to a fundamental change in their status.

As we noted in earlier alerts from November 3rd and November 10th, the bills includes beneficial provisions for our sector.  Among those are:

Estate Tax:  The bill does not repeal the estate tax immediately, but doubles the existing exemption limits until 2024, when the tax is repealed. 

Cost Recovery/Expensing:   The bill allows for full (100 percent) expensing for business investments made after September 27, 2017, and before January 1, 2023.  The provision applies to both new and used property.

Corporate Tax Rate:  H.R. 1 lowers the corporate tax rate to 20 percent after 2017.    The bill also repeals the corporate alternative minimum tax after 2017.  

Importantly, the legislation does not touch existing preferential tax treatment of standing timber and incentives in the tax code to promote reforestation.

 

Miscellaneous

We continue to be active participants in many committees across the state that work on logging and forestry issues, including: Ohio Tree Farm Committee, Agricultural Advisory Committee to the Ohio Department of Taxation, Ohio Woodland Stewards, Ohio Forestry Advisory Committee, Ohio Forest Stewardship Program, Sustainable Forestry Initiative State Implementation Committee, and others.

If at any time you have a question about one of these subjects, or have other issues that you would like OFA to assist with, please do not hesitate to contact myself or someone else at the OFA office.

Brad Perkins – OFA Executive Director


Forest Markets Weekly Newsletter
The National Association of State Foresters' Forest Markets Committee releases a Weekly Newsletter full of all things Forestry and Forest Products Industry related. Each week’s newsletter has articles about: Forest Markets, Housing, Working Forests, New Products and Technology, and Renewable Energy. See the complete newsletter here.


Tree Farmer, Jim Pry, in the Farm and Dairy Publication
Farm and Dairy recently published a very good article on the Pry Family Tree Farm, located in Crawford County, Ohio. Many of you know Jim as the Treasurer of the Ohio Tree Farm Committee, or you may remember that Jim was named as the Ohio Tree Farmer of the Year in 2007. Jim has always been conservation minded when it comes to managing his Tree Farm along the headwaters of the Sandusky River. Read the complete article to see how Jim and his family have excelled as good stewards of the land.


Valley Stone Yard & Maritime Center Offers Aggregate and Barge Services for the Forest Products Industry in SE Ohio
The Valley Inc. business in Millwood, WV is now owned by Jamarco, LLC and operating as Valley Stone Yard & Maritime Center.  The facility is located 2 hours southeast of Columbus, OH and is minutes from Route 33 and Interstate 77.  The Stone Yard operation is well situated and equipped to provide any type of stone aggregate product needed for access road construction in the southeast Ohio region.  The Maritime Center is equally well situated and equipped to provide both barge fleeting services as well as loading/unloading service for Ohio River traffic.  We are able to handle shipping containers and crates of various sizes, pallets, whole logs, material bundles, and mulch. For more information contact Jason Hatcher, Vice-President of Stone Operations. Office: 304-273-5555  Mobile: 304-920-1462  Email: jason.hatcher@valleyincwv.com  Web: www.Valleyincwv.com


Renewable Energy Lab Delivers Biofuels For The Future
The Ohio Forestry Association has been involved with different entrepreneurs over the past few years that are trying to find ways to capitalize on the amount of available wood waste in Ohio.  One of those discussed projects involves a process to turn cellulosic materials into a hydrophobic, high btu, solid fuel as a coal replacement. After 10 years of research on developing this type of biofuel, the Natural Resource Research Institute, at the University of Minnesota – Duluth, claims to now be able to produce this product on a commercial scale. Read more about this in an article from the Pine and Lakes Echo Journal.


Forestry Equipment Forecast For Big Gains
The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm, reports in its new study entitled “Global Forestry Equipment, 2nd Edition”, that increased mechanized logging is supporting strong gains in demand for forestry equipment. These gains are especially being driven by transitions from manual to mechanical logging solutions in developing economies in Africa/Mideast, Asia/Pacific, and Latin American regions. Read the complete article.


Upcoming Events

  • SEOLC Meeting - 12/13/17 - 7:00 PM - Jackson, Ohio
  • NEOLC Meeting – 12/13/17 – 5:30 PM – Middlefield, Ohio
  • SOFA Christmas Dinner & Annual Business Meeting – 12/14/17 – Lake White Club – Waverly, Ohio

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