Information on Timber Harvesting, Planting, Federal Assistance Programs, and Tax Provisions

T-RCED-90-45: Published: Mar 8, 1990. Publicly Released: Mar 8, 1990.

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GAO discussed timber harvesting and planting, federal timber assistance programs, and tax laws affecting the timber industry. GAO noted that: (1) timber harvesting increased 4 percent from 1986 to 1988, and timber planting increased 23 percent over the same period; (2) about 90 percent of the increase in tree planting resulted from three Department of Agriculture programs; (3) tax provisions affecting amortization of reforestation expenses and indirect production expenses reduced federal revenues by at least $460 million annually; and (4) while timber harvesting will increase by over 50 percent over the next 50 years, industry employment will drop by about 25 percent, but those trends will vary significantly by region.

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