Chittenden, Alfred K. (Alfred Knight), 1879-1930 / The taxation of forest lands in Wisconsin
Views of lumbermen on taxation, pp. 44-49 PDF (1.6 MB)
THE TAXATION OF FOREST LANDS IN WISCONSIN. 49 extensive areas of such wild cut-over and burned-over lands in north- ern W~isconsin *ihich will continue unproductive of taxes or anything else until young stands of valuable species are established on them. Therefore, to materially reduce the taxes on growing timber and to thus encourage a wise utilization and protection of such areas can not he construed as a hardship to a town. In northern Wisconsin there is by no means a scarcity of fertile hardwood land which affords abundant and varied possibilities to the enterprising farmer. Yet lumbermen frequently emphasize the fact that under existing conditions considerable land has to be put on the market as agricultural land at $3 per acre which is unfit for agricul- tural purposes at any pr-ice. Almost every large timberland owner who expressed his views on the situation acknowledged that parts of his own holdings were of typical forest soil, and that it would be of material benefit to the communities in which such tracts were located if they could te permanently maintained for the production of timber. Possibly half of the large operators stated that under a favorable law they themselves would be influenced to maintain whatever lands of this nature they possessed for growing a second crop of timber. On the other hand there were not a few companies that advanced reasons why they could scarcely hope to hold any of their lands for future forest growth. For example, certain companies operating in the southern part of the region-as in Rusk county, where most ot the land is tillable-naturally argued that their wisest course would be to dispose of all of their holdings for agricultural purposes, in- cluding even the scattered non-agricultural areas which in most cases are not large enough to constitute lumbering units. Another company was utilizing even the smallest trees on its holdings for the manufacture of wood alcohol and acetate of lime; therefore, since nothing was left to form the basis of a second crop they did not intend to hold any land for this purpose. Several others possessed holdings of insufficient area to furnish a basis for continuous opera- tions. Many companies were opposed to long-time investments ex- ceeding in duration the average length of life and believed that all such undertakings to provide timber for future needs should be made by the state or local government.
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