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Harnett Dispatch

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Dear Editor,

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Dear Editor,

The general public needs to know about an issue that is happening to landowners.  There is a NC general statute that states that anyone that owns more than 20 acres of land that has timber on it, the landowner must have a “forestry management plan” on file with the tax office.  The landowner must follow this plan, because there will be visits to the property to see if the plan is being carried out, or face an increase of property tax of approximately 66%.

Timbered land is given a reduced tax rate due to agriculture use for the timber produced on it and because it is not being developed.  The catch is that the deferred (reduced) taxes for the term of three years, prior to each tax filing year, is held as a lien against the property.  So this means that if the property is sold or in this case, if the appropriate “plan” is not on file and followed, the landowner will be liable for the amount of the deferred taxes and even possibly interest could be accrued.

This statute NC GS 105-277 was revised in 2002.  After researching the “qualifications” of the proposed types of plans that would be necessary to file with tax office, there are great questions as to the cost to follow such a plan along with the liabilities involved with compliance by the landowner.

The Citizens Constitutional Caucus, a group that reviews legislation for adherence to the constitution (state and federal), is providing information and proposals to the legislators to try to address this issue but they need you to contact your local representatives and senators in NC to tell them where you stand on this issue.  If you are not willing to stand for others, who will stand for you when the time comes?  For more information on how you could help or get involved contact www.constitutionalistgatheringplace.com or Don Watson dwatson83@att.net.

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