Phil McPhail

Maine Tree Growth Tax Confusion

Maine Tree Growth Tax Confusion

If you have been planning to purchase a parcel of land in Maine you have probably heard of tree growth tax status. These are a few common misconceptions about the program that we often hear from potential land buyers and land owners.

"I can't cut any trees if I have the property in tree growth".

The tree growth tax law was enacted by the Maine legislature to allow land owners to maintain their property as productive woodland to supply Maine's wood industry. Cutting trees is what this tax law was designed for.

"It is too complicated."

As a new owner you will have a few obligations to get the tax benefit from tree growth but it is a relatively simple process. You need to hire a consulting forester who will help you create a management plan, file some forms and then follow your plan.

"I don't want to give up control of my land."

While you do need to follow some rules, the rules allow for the owner to make their own decisions in managing the lands as long as they use sound silvicultural practices.

"I can't build on the land if it is in tree growth."

Once a property is enrolled in tree growth tax status a change of use is possible. A penalty will be imposed for the change of use. Also, portions of a property can be left out of tree growth to allow a penalty free building site.

For more information on Maine's Tree Growth Tax see:

http://www.maine.gov/revenue/forms/property/pubs/bull19text.htm