Family forest owners (FFOs) control a majority of private forestland in the United States and have widely diverse ownership and management objectives. Many FFOs manage their holdings for timber production and, thus, are concerned with issues such as reforestation incentives and tax treatment of timber revenues. Their actual knowledge of the tax aspects of timber management varies, with some owners even unaware of the federal income tax provisions that apply to timber. This research used econometric techniques to establish socioeconomic predictors of FFO awareness and use of federal income tax provisions. Socioeconomic factors (such as size of forest holding, ownership objective, education, age, and income) were evaluated in terms of association with awareness and use of income tax provisions. Data were obtained from a survey of 1350 South Carolina FFOs (472 useable responses). A two-step sample selection methodology revealed that membership in a landowner organization and size of forest holding positively influence landowner awareness of the seven tax provisions, while ownership objective and level of education exhibited varying degrees of influence. Overall, the findings suggest that size of forest holding is the key determinant that influences landowner use of the provisions. These tax incentives are one of the foundations of federal policies encouraging active forest management by FFOs and the effectiveness of the various incentives has crucial implications for forest policy analysis.
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