Bill description: HB 44 would double the maximum fee assessed on private forest lands under the Forest Practices Act.
Does it directly or indirectly create or increase any taxes, fees, or other assessments? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce any taxes, fees, or other assessments?
The Idaho Department of Lands administers the Forest Practices Act, a state program established to promote forest management and protect habitats where logging occurs. A substantial portion of the funding for this program comes from an assessment charged on all private owners of forest land in the state. Currently, this assessment is at 10 cents an acre.
HB 44 would increase the maximum assessment on forest land to 20 cents per acre. Each year, the Idaho State Board of Land Commissioners, which consists of constitutional officers of the state, would determine the rate to be assessed, up to the maximum of 20 cents per acre.
There are roughly 5 million acres of private forest land in the state which would fall under this assessment.
By increasing the forest land assessment, HB 44 could disincentivize individuals from owning large plots of land and could greatly increase the assessments property owners pay, particularly in Idaho’s rural counties.