Tree Growth


MAINE TREE GROWTH
TAX LAW

 REFERENCE: 36 M.R.S.A. §§571 - 584-A.

 Maine tax law allows for valuation as a special use category of property where land is valued according to rates established by the State rather than market value. A property owner who wishes to maintain acreage solely for commercial forest production may apply for the Tree Growth classification. Once enrolled, any development or change in use will most likely cause removal of that acreage with a substantial penalty being assessed against the property.  

To apply, a landowner must:

  • have at least 10 forested acres
  • have a forest management and harvest plan
  • fill out an application to be filed with the Assessor’s Office file by April 1 in the year for which the classification is requested 

If the landowner sells the property, the law requires that:

  1. a new application be filed by the new owner prior to harvesting; or
  2. a new application be filed within one year from the purchase date; or
  3. the property be withdrawn from the program.

Maine Law specifies that all parcels enrolled in the tree growth program “are required to have a Forest Management and Harvest Plan prepared and subject to review and updated as needed by a Licensed Professional Forester at least every 10 years. Owners must certify that a written Forest Management and Harvest Plan has been prepared; submit a licensed professional forester’s signed statement as evidence of compliance when forester determines that land is being managed in accordance with recommendations included in the applicable plan...” The previous language can be found in Bulletin #19 at the following web address: http://www.maine.gov/revenue/forms/property/pubs/bull19text.htm

It is the responsibility of the owner(s) to complete a new plan and file a new application and forest type map with the city every ten years. State Law requires assessors to give owners a 60 day notice when the re-file is due. 

Failure to comply with any requirements of the law may result in removal of the land from the Tree Growth Tax Program. Upon removal, a substantial penalty will be assessed against the property. 

Please note that if you, your spouse or business partner is actively or has recently been serving in the military, it is possible that filing deadlines and requirements may be tolled.
 
Maine Revenue Services For information on State law governing Property Tax Assessment