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Follow the Money: Timber Revenues (Oregon and beyond)


The loss of timber revenue to local governments and states is a lot more complicated than “we need more logging on public lands.

There are federal and state taxes, tax credits, and tax cuts – and there is this 7 Sept 2018 article by Emily Green, from Street Roots (Portland, Oregon):

“Cut and run dry: Do Oregon tax laws favor the timber industry?
County governments receive substantially less revenue from private timber companies after a string of changes, Coast Range Association points out” (archived)


Chuck Willer is on a one-man mission, sporadically traveling across Western Oregon to give his PowerPoint presentation to small groups of people gathered at local libraries, colleges and other community hubs.

Each time, he tells his audience, with a degree of hyperbole, that Wall Street’s influence and changes to state tax laws have created a scenario where the timber industry is paying mere pittance in taxes to county governments for the privilege of ravaging local lands at an unsustainable rate.

He points out that while timber company executives are raking in millions of dollars, public budgets in the counties where they harvest their trees are dwindling to the point of crises.

“Why is that?” Willer recently asked an audience of community rights activists in Eugene. He answered this question by chronicling changes to timber and property tax laws over the past four decades, showing how at each step, changes were made that – either by design or happenstance – deflated timber industry taxes….” (Read entire article.)

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