The main theme of House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp’s (R-Michigan) Tax Reform Act of 2014 is “simplifying and flattening” the federal tax code. Although the concept of “simplifying” the extremely complex current code has a basic appeal to business, many—including forestry interests—question whether “simplification” in all cases equates to “fairness.” The National Alliance of Forest Owners is especially concerned about some provisions proposed for elimination or revision:
• long-term capital gains treatment of the sale of timber;
• the ability to deduct timber growing expenses annually, and
• special treatment of reforestation expenses
Eliminating these provisions would not only obstruct the wood supply chain’s viability but would harm the interests of approximately 22 million private landowners and place the public benefits of forestry at risk. NAFO is mobilizing forestry interests to ensure that Congress understands the potential unintended consequences of revising these longstanding provisions.