Timber Advisory Committee

The Timber Advisory Committee (TAC) is a standing committee appointed by the CDTFA's Director, composed of:

  • One representative of the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
    • Current representative – James Dahlen; TAC Chair; Term began 2020
  • One representative of the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection
    • Current representative – Dan Stapleton; Term began 2022
  • Five assessors from the rate adjustment counties
    • Current representative – Cindie Froggatt; Plumas County; Term began 2021
    • Current representative – Howard LaHaie, Humboldt County; Term began 2023
    • Current representative – Leslie Morgan; TAC Vice-Chair/Secretary; Shasta County; Term began 2008
    • Current representative – Craig Kay, Siskiyou County; Term began 2023
    • Current representative – Jennifer Perry; Del Norte County; Term began 2019
  • One member representing small-scale timber owners
    • Current representative – Lennart Lindstrand, Jr.; Term began 2013
  • One member representing large-scale timber owners
    • Current representative – Marty Olhiser; Term began 2003

The TAC has a vital role in the adoption of the biannual harvest values and schedules. The TAC's duties are to provide consultation to the CDTFA on the timber tax program areas and are advisory in nature.

Upcoming Meetings

  • Nov 7, 2024

Minutes

  • November 9, 2023 Meeting
  • E-mail us if you would like to request prior records of Timber Advisory Committee meetings.

Timber Advisory Committee History

Unless otherwise stated, all statutory references noted in this section are to the California Revenue and Taxation Code. All rule references are to the California Code of Regulations, Title 18, Public Revenues.

The Z'berg-Warren-Keene-Collier Forest Taxation Reform Act, AB 1258, Chapter 176, Statutes 1976, changed the method of taxing timber in California by replacing the ad valorem tax on standing timber with a yield tax on harvested timber. The resulting timber yield tax is imposed on every timber owner who harvests timber or causes it to be harvested on or after April 1, 1977.

The Act also required the Board of Equalization (Board) to appoint a Timber Advisory Committee (TAC) with which to consult prior to adopting administrative regulations governing the assessment of harvested timber and underlying lands.

AUTHORITY

Section 434.2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code requires the Board to appoint the TAC members. Section 431(c) defines the TAC as "a standing committee appointed by the board composed of one representative of the Board of Equalization, one representative of the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, five assessors from the rate adjustment counties defined in Section 38105, and one member representing small-scale timber owners, and one member representing large-scale timber owners." Section 434.2 directed the Board to appoint the TAC within 30 days of the effective date of the section; thus, the first TAC was appointed in June 1976.

The original legislation provided that rate adjustment counties were those counties where property tax revenues on timber represented two percent or greater of the county's total property tax revenue. Subsequently, those counties were named in section 38105 as the "rate adjustment counties," as follows: Alpine, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity, and Yuba.

On July 1, 2017, the Timber Tax Section was included in the transition to the new California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA, or Department) agency under AB 102, the Taxpayer Transparency and Fairness Act of 2017: California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). Under this legislation, TAC organization, procedures, and appointments were also transferred to CDTFA- Timber Tax Section staff and administration. All reference herein to the Board (BOE) shall be noted as CDTFA, as of July 1, 2017.

DUTIES OF THE TAC

Sections 434, 434.1(a), 38109, 38116(a), and 38204 and Property Tax Rule 1023(c) include reference to the duties of the TAC. The major role of the TAC is to consult with the Board every six months regarding the estimates of "immediate harvest value." In an opinion dated August 29, 1978 (No. 78-52), the state Attorney General stated that the duties of the TAC "… are advisory in nature and encompass no administrative responsibilities." The opinion further stated that "[t]he basic flow of information is from Committee members to the Board, not from the Board to the Committee. The Committee members can adequately perform their consultation function by providing information concerning valuation procedures and by applying their expertise to any questions raised by the Board."

The original language of the Z'Berg-Warren-Keene-Collier Forest Taxation Reform Act required that the Board complete the following after consultation with the TAC:

On or before September 1, 1976, prepare instructions setting forth temporary criteria and procedures for grading timberland on the basis of site quality and operability (section 434).

Prior to December 31, 1976, and periodically thereafter, adopt regulations establishing a standard unit of measure for timber and conversion factors for converting other units of measure to the standard (section 38109).

On or before December 31, 1976, designate areas containing timber having similar growing, harvesting, and marketing conditions to be used as timber value areas for the preparation and application of immediate harvest values (section 38204).

On or before March 1, 1977, estimate the immediate harvest values of each species or sub-classification of timber within the "timber value areas" for timber to be harvested between April 1 and December 31, 1977. On June 30 and December 31 of each year thereafter, estimate the immediate harvest values for timber harvested during the succeeding two calendar quarters (section 38204 and rule 1023).

On or before March 1, 1977, adopt regulations setting forth the final procedures for grading timberland on the basis of its site quality and operability, replacing the instructions adopted on or before September 1, 1976 (section 434.1(a)).

On or before January 1, 1980, and every three years thereafter, adopt schedules re establishing the value of each grade of timberland pursuant to section 434 (section 434.5 (b)). (Section 434.5 was rewritten in 1984, establishing new values for timberland and implementing a formula for adjusting timberland values for subsequent years.)

In addition to the specific statutory duties listed above, the TAC performs other duties in support of the timber tax program, such as reviewing proposed amendments to statutes or administrative rules and generally advising the Board on timber issues. The following significant changes have been made by the Board, through the consultation and advice of the TAC, in the timber tax program since completing the initial statutory requirements:

1997- Harvest values schedules were simplified from 27 pages to 10 pages. This included the allowance of adjustments in the form of deductions to the values in the schedules for logging systems, small total volume, and county locations.

1998 - Rule 1024 was developed, exempting any timber from the timber yield tax if the tax on the timber would amount to less than the cost of administering and collecting the tax. The rule became effective April 8, 1999.

2000- Timber yield tax was converted from a system using old growth and young growth classifications to a system based on average log size, removing much of the subjectivity of the previous system. Some species were consolidated, reducing the number of species' categories. This further simplified the harvest values schedules.

2001- Criterion, based on historical data, was implemented for establishing the value of salvage species in Table S, Salvage Harvest Values, of the Harvest Values Schedules. Specifically, when there are not enough salvage sales in a species category to establish its immediate harvest value, the value is deemed to be 75 percent of the corresponding green values listed in Table G, Timber Harvest Values, of the Harvest Values Schedules.

2010 - Rule 1020 was amended to address the changes in marketing conditions since the rule was last amended in 1977. The timber value areas were realigned to reflect the changes in marketing conditions. The amendment became effective November 17, 2010.

July 1, 2013 - Logging system deductions went from $50/MBF for Skyline Cable to $60/MBF. (Helicopter remained unchanged at $200/MBF.)

July 1, 2014 - LV/A deduction went from $25/MBF to $30/MBF.

November 2016 - TAC approved staff’s recommendation that the percent of green value for salvage in the absence of sales varies by species and TVA, and is subject to annual review.

TAC MEETINGS

There is no set schedule governing when or how often the TAC shall meet. When the yield tax system was being implemented, meetings were held on a frequent basis to address important issues and statutory requirements. Currently, the TAC meets twice a year, which enables the Department to consult with the members before meeting in open session to adopt harvest values schedules on or before June 30 and December 31 of each year. For these regularly-scheduled TAC meetings, CDTFA staff provides suggested harvest values schedules that are developed from information collected statewide on the sale of logs and standing timber. Additional TAC meetings are occasionally held if issues arise that require the Department or its staff to consult with the TAC.

TENURE OF TAC MEMBERS

While the law requires the Department to appoint the TAC members, there is no statutory provision for the tenure of the appointments. Over the years, term limits have changed several times. Initially, under the Board of Equalization TAC members served at the pleasure of the Board. On February 9, 1995, the Board approved one-year term limits and this lasted through 2014. Beginning in 2015, in a move to reduce the time involved that is required for the annual appointment process, including the requirements for administering the oath of office and all of the associated paperwork, the Board switched to 4-year terms. The 4-year terms were designed to coincide with the midterm election cycle, in consideration of the county assessors who are elected officials. Currently, under the administration of the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, the executive director or a member of the CDTFA legal department administers the oaths of office to the members at the first TAC meeting scheduled after their 4-year term appointment by the Director.

TAC STRUCTURE

At its inaugural meeting, the TAC members elected two officers  a Chair and a Vice-Chair/Secretary. The Board's representative was selected to serve as the Chair at that meeting and the agency representative has remained in that role since that time (under both the Board of Equalization and the Department of Tax and Fee Administration). Over the years, several assessors have been selected to serve as Vice-Chair/Secretary. The TAC is free to elect new officers each year if it so desires.

COMPENSATION OF TAC MEMBERS

There are no provisions for compensating the TAC members. However, Government Code section 11009 does provide for the payment of "necessary expenses" for persons serving on boards, commissions, or committees without compensation. This allows for travel and per diem compensation for those members who do not receive reimbursement as part of their full time position(s). In order for members to receive travel expense reimbursement, the oaths of office must be filed with the Secretary of State each time new members are appointed. Department staff files these papers on behalf of the members.

Historic Listing of Timber Advisory Committee Members

Assessors Start End County
Raymond J. Flynn 1976-94 1976 1994 Humboldt
Dow Bettis 1976 1982 Plumas
Gerald Cochran   1995-06 1976 2006 Del Norte
Webb Brown 1976 1977 Mendocino
Babe Taylor 1976 1977 Siskiyou
Franklin Lew 1977 1982 Modoc
Robert Risberg 1978 1987 Tehama
Duane Wells 1981 1990 Mendocino
Donald Carey 1983 1990 Siskiyou
Ernest Eaton 1990 1994 Plumas
John Thorne 1990 1992 El Dorado
William Copren 1991 1994 Sierra
Charles Cliburn 1993 1996 Mendocino
Ray Jerland 1995 2000 Humboldt
John Winner 1995 2002 El Dorado
Richard Allen 1995 1995 Nevada
Carl Bontrager 1996 2000 Siskiyou
William Copren 1998 2000 Sierra
Kenneth Bunch 2001 2003 Lassen
Marsha Wharff  2007 2001 2007 Mendocino
Dave Peets 2001 2004 Alpine
Cris Andrews 2003 2006 Shasta
Tim Holcomb 2004 2007 El Dorado
Mike Mallory 2010-12, 2015-18 2005 2018 Siskiyou
Linda Hill 2008-2009 2008 2010 Humboldt
Charles Leonhardt 2019, 2020 2007 2020 Plumas
Cindie Froggatt 2021 Present Plumas
Karl Weiland 2019 2022 El Dorado
Jennifer Perry 2019 Present Del Norte
Susan Ranochak 2008 2018 Mendocino
Leslie Morgan 2021 2008 Present Shasta
Mari Wilson  2013-14 2011 2022 Humboldt
Howard LaHaie 2023 Present Humboldt
Craig Kay 2023 Present Siskiyou
Large Timber Owners Start End
Robert Barrett 1976 1986
John Penney 1987 1996
Tim Treichelt 1997 2002
Marty Olhiser 2003 Present
Small Timber Owners Start End
Wayne Miller 1976 1989
Roy Richards 1989 2006
George Belden 2007 2012
Lennart Lindstrand, Jr. 2013 Present
Board of Forestry Start End
Robert M. Maclean 1976 1983
Bruce Bayless 1984 1996
Jonathan Rea 1997 2000
Tim Robards 2001 2003
Christopher Zimny 2004 2011
George YG Gentry 2012 2015
Matt Dias 2016 2021
Dan Stapleton 2022 Present
Board of Equalization / California Department of Tax and Fee Administration Start End
Walter Senini 1976 1979
Robert Gustafson 1979 1989
John Hagerty 1989 1995
James Speed 1996 1997
Richard Johnson 1998 2001
David Gau 2001 2014
Dean Kinnee 2015 2017
Katie Hagen 2017 2019
James Dahlen 2020, 2021 2020 Present

Notes

  1. TAC Chair
  2. TAC Vice-Chair/Secretary