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Is Liberty getting all its timber tax

POSTED: November 13, 2017 9:47 a.m.
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When property owners cut trees they are supposed to pay a tax on the potential value.

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Liberty County Commissioners are concerned about the amount of timber tax revenue and Tuesday State Rep. Al Williams came to talk about timber tax collection.

Williams said under state law advance notice must be given of intent to cut timber and that when a cut is completed it must be reported to county officials within five days. The penalty for violating this law is imprisonment for one year and a $1,000 fine. Counties can require a surety bond before authorizing timber harvesting, Williams said, but Liberty County has never done this.

"I don’t follow the underground timber industry," Williams said: he explained only what was lawful.

After a discussion of notices to and actions by the county public works department and tax authorities, Chairman Donald Lovette said, "So it really boils down to enforcement."

Commissioner Marion Stevens said he thought the county was not receiving all the revenue it was due.

The commissioners will hold a public hearing on the proposed tax increase at noon on Thursday. Also on Thursday the commission’s 5 p.m. midmonth meeting will be held; they will complete the public hearings and adopt the tax millage rate.

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