Federal forest revenue-sharing in coastal Oregon : an assessment of historical and future tax equivalence Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/x346d702f

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  • Public land ownership withdraws property from the tax base of local property tax districts. Publicly-managed lands occupy approximately 17.5 million acres of forested lands in Oregon (inclusive of federal, state, and county ownership). To compensate local taxing districts for foregone property tax collections, Congress enacted a series of federal revenue-sharing programs. This thesis examined whether the timber-based revenue-sharing programs have provided equivalent substitutions and whether they will be able to provide equivalent substitutions in the future. Two time periods and four coastal Oregon counties were chosen for the analysis: the recent past (1 982-1 989), the near future (1 995-2000), and Clatsop, Coos, Curry, and Tillamook counties. This study had three specific objectives: to assess the equivalence of the historic level of federal timber revenue-sharing receipts received by local governments; to assess the equivalence of the future level of federal timber revenue-sharing receipts to be received by local governments in light of the proposed federal management plans; and to identify options for achieving equivalence in the future. Two tests of equivalence were considered relevant: whether the federal contributions were equivalent relative to all other property tax sources; and whether the federal contributions were equitable relative to all other timber tax sources. In terms of property taxes, the federal revenue-sharing monies received per dollar of property value by the local governments in this study were less relative to all other property tax sources. In terms of timber receipts, the federal revenue-sharing monies received per forest acre by the local governments in this study were greater relative to average private timber receipts. In general, these conclusions held true in the near future, across a range of likely federal management scenarios. Several options for achieving equivalence in the near future were evaluated, including changes in the federal timber-revenue distribution formulas, varied harvest levels, and the development of other "in-lieu" tax programs.
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