Workshop educates timber landowners on timber taxation and updated laws

Workshop educates timber landowners on timber taxation and updated laws

DIBOLL, Texas (KTRE) - While many people can claim children as dependents, some people can claim their trees.

Almost 90 percent of timber in East Texas is privately owned. A workshop for timber landowners was held today in Diboll by the Texas A&M Forest Service.

As a new landowner, John Pierrel is taking his first step by attending the workshop and appreciates the resources.

“It’s good to have access to these resources because you’re going to need these kinds of things as you go forward,” he said.

Pierrel has learned the importance of documenting everything.

“You have to have so many hours per year to be considered an active business owner,” Pierrel said. “So we’ll start documenting these things and keeping track of what we do. As well as all the spending and such as that.”

Attending this workshop earned consulting foresters continued education credits as well as hours toward their certification.

“Really and truly this is something that I don’t know a lot about, is this taxation,” said consulting forester, Buddy Stalnaker. “I mean you’re a forester, you don’t deal with a lot of tax stuff. But landowners have to, so if a forester can give them information on forest taxation, then that’s a plus.”

A national federal timber tax expert from Oregon State University, Dr. Tammy Cushing spoke, along with state and local experts.

“So they (landowners) rely on our agency to put on events like this, to allow them to learn about the information that they need to be hearing. And in this case, tax return preparation,” said Aaron Stottlemyer, forest resource analyst with Texas A&M Forest Service.

During breaks, participants went to different booths to get information and network with tax preparers, attorneys, tax appraisers, logging professionals and more.

“Because you can’t do all this yourself, you need to have expert advice and those kinds of people are represented here, said Pierrel. “And that’s part of the information gathering process to be proactive in how you run your timber business.”

This was the biggest turnout in their 17 years of hosting an event like this, with nearly 130 participants.

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