Thursday, May 08, 2008

Governor Perdue Signs Forest Land Conservation Legislation

Today Governor Sonny Perdue signed The Georgia Forest Land Protection Act of 2008, HB 1211, at the Swainsboro Pine Tree Festival and Timber Expo.

“I am pleased to sign this legislation that promotes forest land conservation throughout the state and coincides with the Conserve Georgia campaign that we kicked off two weeks ago,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “These bills would not have made it to my desk without the hard of the many legislators joining us here today.”

HB 1211, sponsored by Rep. Richard Royal, creates a property valuation classification of forest land, which has no acreage cap and allows all property owners including businesses to put their property into covenant and receive the tax benefits. This legislation becomes effective upon the passage of a related constitutional amendment on the ballot in November 2008 (HR 1276).

“The Georgia Forest Land Protection Act of 2008 will protect the state’s environment for years to come and will allow our forest land owners to continue their ownership of these valuable resources by reducing the terrible burden of unfair property taxes,” said Rep. Richard Royal. “In addition to maintaining the state’s forest land, it will also help ensure clean air and water.”
By entering into a covenant to utilize the forest land for conservation purposes for at least 15 years, Georgia’s private property owners will have the advantage of a lower tax burden on qualifying land for as long as the land is kept in its natural state.

Governor Perdue and Rep. Royal were joined at the bill signing event today by Rep. Jim Cole, Rep. Jay Shaw, Rep. Butch Parrish, Rep. Jimmy Pruett, Sen. Ross Tolleson, Sen. John Bulloch and Sen. Jack Hill.

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