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Forest Land Eligibility

Ohio Forest Tax law (OFTL) is administered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry. In exchange for tax reduction, landowners agree to manage their forestland for the production of timber and other forest products and abide by pertinent rules and regulations.

“Forest land” is described as land for which the primary purpose is the growing, managing and harvesting of a merchantable forest product of commercial species under accepted silvicultural systems through natural or artificial methods and for which there are approved forest management plans. The forestland shall consist of a stand or stands of commercial species of forest trees which contain at least fifty percent of basal area or at least three hundred stems per acre which shall be evenly distributed throughout the stand.

If your land meets that definition, it may be eligible for certification under OFTL.

Requirements:
  • Forestland must be a tract consisting of 10 contiguous acres or larger of forest trees and no less than 125 feet wide and accessible for management. Deductions are made for Homesites, other outbuildings, streams, rivers, and roads, right of ways and lakes and ponds less than one acre in size.
  • * Property boundary line and/or forest boundary lines must be clearly marked prior to examination.
  • * The land owner must manage his or her forestland in accordance with a forest management plan.
  • Every 5 years, the DOF will inspect certified forestland to ensure compliance with the program and with the forest management plan.
  • There is a one-time application fee of $50.00

Certification is continuous unless land use changes, ownership changes, the landowner withdraws his or her forestland from the program, or the landowner is otherwise no longer in compliance. There is no penalty for withdrawal.

For more detailed information, please refer to 5713.22 of the Ohio Revised Code or contact the Division of Forestry at (614) 512-0271 or the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Department’s Appraisal Division at (216) 443-8141.