Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2018

Revenue and Taxation Code

Division 2. Other Taxes

Part 18.5. Timber Yield Tax

CHAPTER 1. General Provisions and Definitions

Revenue and Taxation Code

Division 2. Other Taxes

Part 18.5. Timber Yield Tax



* The yield tax imposed shall be applied on and after April 1, 1977.

† Part 18.5 was added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 176, p. 324, in effect May 24, 1976.

Note.—Section 17 of Stats. 1976, Ch. 176, p. 351, provided that the Legislature finds and declares that the yield tax imposed by this act is a state tax which is authorized under subdivision (j) of Section 3 of Article XIII of the Constitution for the state purpose of encouraging the continued use of timberlands for the production of trees for timber products. In doing so, the public policy of the state as expressed in the Constitution will be entirely fulfilled and the state as a whole will benefit. The yield tax is in lieu of all ad valorem property taxes on timber.

Secs. 20 and 21 thereof provided no payment by state to local governments because of this act.

Chapter 1. General Provisions and Definitions

38101. Title. This part is known and may be cited as the "Timber Yield Tax Law."

38101.5. Legislative intent. (a) The Legislature finds and declares that the forest resources and timberlands of the state are among the most valuable of the natural renewable resources of the state and that there is great concern throughout the state relating to their protection, restoration, and utilization.

(b) The Legislature further finds and declares that the forest resources and timberlands of the state produce timber and other forest products, recreational opportunities, regional economic vitality, employment opportunities, and aesthetic enjoyment while providing watershed protection and maintaining fisheries and wildlife.

(c) The Legislature further finds and declares that it is the policy of this state to encourage prudent and responsible forest resource management calculated to serve the public's need for timber and other forest products, while giving consideration to the public's need for watershed protection, fisheries and wildlife, employment opportunities, regional economic vitality, and recreational opportunities alike in this and future generations.

(d) The Legislature further finds that it is not the intent of the Legislature by the enactment of this part to take private property for public use without payment of just compensation in violation of the California and United States Constitutions.

History.—Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1600, in effect January 1, 1991.

38102. Construction. Except where the context otherwise requires, the definitions in this chapter govern the construction of this part.

38103. "Timber". "Timber" means trees of any species maintained for eventual harvest for forest products purposes, whether planted or of natural growth, standing or down, including Christmas trees, on privately or publicly owned land, but does not mean nursery stock.

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38103.1. "Timberland". "Timberland" means privately or publicly owned land which is devoted to and used for growing and harvesting timber, or for growing and harvesting timber and compatible uses, and which is capable of growing an average annual volume of wood fiber of at least 15 cubic feet per acre.

38104. "Timber owner". "Timber owner" means any person who owns timber immediately prior to felling or the first person who acquires either the legal title or beneficial title to timber after it has been felled from land owned by a federal agency or any other person or agency or entity exempt from property taxation under the Constitution or laws of the United States or under the Constitution or laws of the State of California. "Timber owner" includes any person who owns or acquires legal title or beneficial title to downed timber in this state.

"Timber owner" also includes the seller of timber located on land owned by that seller if the timber sales agreement, contract, or other document provides for the payment of the purchase price on the basis of actual timber volume scaled and does not contain a passage of title clause.

History.—Stats. 1978, Ch. 1112, in effect January 1, 1979, substituted "property" for "state" after "exempt from" in the first sentence. Stats. 1981, Ch. 947, in effect January 1, 1982, added the second paragraph.

Construction.—Application of tax to non-Indian purchasers of tribal timber is preempted by federal law. State's general interest in revenue collection does not outweigh specific federal and tribal interest with which tax interferes, the tax does not fund services directly related to harvesting of tribal timber, and the tax is otherwise unconnected with tribal timber activities. Hoopa Valley Tribe v. Nevins, 881 F.2d 657.

38105. "Rate adjustment county". "Rate adjustment county" means the following counties: Alpine, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity, and Yuba.

38106. "Person". "Person" includes any individual, firm, partnership, joint venture, association, social club, fraternal organization, corporation, limited liability company, estate, trust, business trust, receiver, trustee, syndicate, this state, any county, city and county, municipality, district, or other political subdivision of the state, or any other group or combination acting as a unit.

History.—Stats. 1994, Ch. 1200, in effect September 30, 1994, substituted "partnership," for "copartnership," after "firm," and added "limited liability company," after "corporation,".

38107. "Tax rate area". [Repealed by Stats. 1983, Ch. 1281, in effect September 30, 1983.]

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38108. "Scaling date". "Scaling date" means the date when the quantity of timber harvested, by species, is first definitely determined.

Except for national forest timber, the scaling date shall be no later than the date of delivery of the felled trees to the storage or wood-processing area, whichever is first, or an alternative approved by the board. For national forest timber, the definitely determined timber volume included in forest service, United States Department of Agriculture, billing statements to timber sale contract holders, or an alternative approved by the board after a public hearing, shall be the basis for tax payment.

History.—Stats. 1979, Ch. 563, in effect September 10, 1979, added ", or an alternative approved by the Board after a public hearing," after "holders" in the second sentence of the second paragraph. Stats. 1981, Ch. 714, in effect January 1, 1982, substituted "United States Department of Agriculture" for "USDA" in the second sentence of the second paragraph.

38109. "Immediate harvest value". "Immediate harvest value" means the amount that each species or subclassification of timber would sell for on the stump at a voluntary sale made in the ordinary course of business for purposes of immediate harvest. Such immediate harvest values shall be expressed in terms of amount to the nearest dollar per thousand board feet, net Scribner Decimal C log rule, or other unit of measure chosen by the board, and shall be determined in a manner which makes reasonable and adequate allowances for age, size, quality, costs of removal, accessibility to point of conversion, market conditions and all other relevant factors as determined by the board.

For the purposes of this section, the immediate harvest value of Christmas trees shall be the sale price of the Christmas trees in quantities of 100 trees or more in the market area nearest to the place where the trees are cut.

Prior to December 31, 1976, and periodically thereafter as determined by the board, the board in consultation with the Timber Advisory Committee and with the California Division of Forestry and after public hearings, shall adopt rules and regulations establishing a standard unit of measure and establishing conversion factors which convert prevalent units of measure in use in California to Scribner Decimal C log rule or other unit of measure chosen as a standard.

Immediate harvest value.—The definition of "immediate harvest value" manifestly encompasses old growth as well as young growth. Soper-Wheeler Co. v. State Board of Equalization, 124 Cal.App.3d 913.

38110. "Yield tax". "Yield tax" means the dollar amount derived by multiplying the net volume of harvested timber by the appropriate immediate harvest value per unit and by the yield tax rate.

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