Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tree Farm Video Puts Pressure on Congress to Fix Estate Tax

The American Forest Foundation (American Tree Farm System and Project Learning Tree) has produced a video that helps show the public some of the reasons America's family forests are important to us all. Family owned forests provide all Americans with valuable resources such as clean air, water, wildlife habitat, and wood products. The estate tax will be a threat to many family forests.

If the estate tax is not reformed before 2011, a 55 percent tax will be collected on all estates valued over $1 million, the levels of 2001. This will affect many family forest landowners, and may force some of them to sell their land or harvest their timber unsustainably to pay the tax debt. If the estate tax is not changed the threat of permanent loss of forests will increase.

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) introduced S. 3664, the Family Farm Estate Tax Deferral Act of 2010. This bill would remove the estate tax burden on family-owned forests, if the land stays in the family and is managed sustainably. S. 3664, would provide family forest owners with an exemption from the estate tax, if they keep the land in their family and manage it as a forest.

You may want to urge your Senators to act on the estate tax for family forest owners before time runs out and urge them to support S. 3664. Write to your Senators here.

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