Timber Tax Workshop aims to help landowners recoup drought, wildfire losses

DIBOLL, TX (KTRE) - "The drought is definitely affecting our trees. We're thinking we probably have a 10, 15 percent loss of trees due to the drought," said Anderson County Landowner and CPA, Frances Dear.

Dear is one of the many landowners who came to Friday's Timber Tax Workshop seeking answers. She says she lost trees and land in one of the Cherokee County wildfires last September. Today, she's wondering how she can put some money back in her pocket and replace what she's lost.

"I wasn't aware that these type of things were available to us as taxpayers, so I'm delighted," said Dear.

The Texas Forest Service hosts the workshop, explaining how new timber tax laws could work in favor of landowners. District Forester, Todd Nightingale, says it's all about presenting the best tax scenario.

"It gives the landowner a chance to learn more about the resources they're managing and more importantly, best manage that. And, in this case, the fiscal matters of it," said Nightingale.

The workshop also teaches landowners how to apply properly in order to receive the money they're entitled to. For some landowners, that could be hundreds of dollars.

"Every landowner who walks in here and applies some of the principles of better book keeping, making sure they're in the right range, that's going to make a substantial difference. Obviously, the more land you own, the larger the difference will be. But, even for a smaller landowner, it'll make a significant impact in their income," said Nightingale.

So in the end, East Texans, like Frances Dear, will come out ahead.

"The fire, we have a casualty loss, so we should be able to recoup some costs there," said Dear.

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