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Jun-17-2009 15:41printcomments

Oregon’s Timber Industry Gets Help From Oregon House

HB 3112 continues the personal property tax exemption for logging equipment for six more years and allows machinery dating back to 1992 to be included.

Oregon log truck
Photo: State of Oregon

(SALEM, Ore.) - Thousands of timber operators across the state can thank the Oregon House of Representatives for passage of House Bill 3112 today.

“This measure will not only help many small logging companies survive this recession, but it also sends a strong message that the Legislature still values their contribution to our economic well being,” said Representative Greg Smith (R-Heppner). The bill passed by a vote of 54-4 on the House Floor.

HB 3112 continues the personal property tax exemption for logging equipment for six more years and allows machinery dating back to 1992 to be included. This extends the current sunset on the law to 2018. It covers a variety of logging equipment including skyline and swing yarders.

Smith explained, “this legislation provides an economic stimulus to help reduce the losses to our timber industry. It’s frustrating to pay personal property taxes on equipment that has been sitting idle during the recession.” Smith testified in favor of HB 3112 and helped bring it to the House Floor for a vote.

The logging sector has seen a 50% drop in business under the collapse in the US housing market. This week Oregon’s unemployment rate jumped to a 30 year high of 12.4% and headlines talked about the dwindling number of mills in Eastern Oregon.

“This legislation is just one way we can help, especially when you consider logging businesses are shutting down due to a lack of work,” pointed out Smith.

“This logging equipment can cost upwards of $750,000 or more,” noted Smith. “The small and family-run businesses that buy this equipment need to know this tax exemption will be there in the future before making such a huge investment.”

“Maintaining family-wage jobs, keeping taxpayers employed and the commerce conducted by gainfully employed workers, is critical to maintain the economic health of rural Oregon. Representative Smith understands this and we really appreciate him going the extra mile on our behalf,” said Jim Geisinger, Executive Director of the Associated Oregon Loggers.

Source: State Representative Greg Smith

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Rural Oregonian June 18, 2009 7:43 am (Pacific time)

All I have to say is that I am so grateful that there is a Republican in that building that has enough muscle to get things done on behalf of rural oregonian.

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