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84.33.010  <<  84.33.035 >>   84.33.040

RCW 84.33.035

Definitions.

Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.

     (1) "Agricultural methods" means the cultivation of trees that are grown on land prepared by intensive cultivation and tilling, such as irrigating, plowing, or turning over the soil, and on which all unwanted plant growth is controlled continuously for the exclusive purpose of raising trees such as Christmas trees and short-rotation hardwoods.

     (2) "Average rate of inflation" means the annual rate of inflation as determined by the department averaged over the period of time as provided in RCW 84.33.220 (1) and (2). This rate must be published in the state register by the department not later than January 1st of each year for use in that assessment year.

     (3) "Composite property tax rate" for a county means the total amount of property taxes levied upon forest lands by all taxing districts in the county other than the state, divided by the total assessed value of all forest land in the county.

     (4) "Contiguous" means land adjoining and touching other property held by the same ownership. Land divided by a public road, but otherwise an integral part of a timber growing and harvesting operation, is considered contiguous. Solely for the purposes of this subsection (4), "same ownership" has the same meaning as in RCW 84.34.020(6).

     (5) "Forest land" is synonymous with "designated forest land" and means any parcel of land that is five or more acres or multiple parcels of land that are contiguous and total five or more acres that is or are devoted primarily to growing and harvesting timber. Designated forest land means the land only and does not include a residential homesite. The term includes land used for incidental uses that are compatible with the growing and harvesting of timber but no more than ten percent of the land may be used for such incidental uses. It also includes the land on which appurtenances necessary for the production, preparation, or sale of the timber products exist in conjunction with land producing these products.

     (6) "Harvested" means the time when in the ordinary course of business the quantity of timber by species is first definitely determined. The amount harvested must be determined by the Scribner Decimal C Scale or other prevalent measuring practice adjusted to arrive at substantially equivalent measurements, as approved by the department.

     (7) "Harvester" means every person who from the person's own land or from the land of another under a right or license granted by lease or contract, either directly or by contracting with others for the necessary labor or mechanical services, fells, cuts, or takes timber for sale or for commercial or industrial use. When the United States or any instrumentality thereof, the state, including its departments and institutions and political subdivisions, or any municipal corporation therein so fells, cuts, or takes timber for sale or for commercial or industrial use, the harvester is the first person other than the United States or any instrumentality thereof, the state, including its departments and institutions and political subdivisions, or any municipal corporation therein, who acquires title to or a possessory interest in the timber. The term "harvester" does not include persons performing under contract the necessary labor or mechanical services for a harvester.

     (8) "Harvesting and marketing costs" means only those costs directly associated with harvesting the timber from the land and delivering it to the buyer and may include the costs of disposing of logging residues. Any other costs that are not directly and exclusively related to harvesting and marketing of the timber, such as costs of permanent roads or costs of reforesting the land following harvest, are not harvesting and marketing costs.

     (9) "Incidental use" means a use of designated forest land that is compatible with its purpose for growing and harvesting timber. An incidental use may include a gravel pit, a shed or land used to store machinery or equipment used in conjunction with the timber enterprise, and any other use that does not interfere with or indicate that the forest land is no longer primarily being used to grow and harvest timber.

     (10) "Local government" means any city, town, county, water-sewer district, public utility district, port district, irrigation district, flood control district, or any other municipal corporation, quasi-municipal corporation, or other political subdivision authorized to levy special benefit assessments for sanitary or storm sewerage systems, domestic water supply or distribution systems, or road construction or improvement purposes.

     (11) "Local improvement district" means any local improvement district, utility local improvement district, local utility district, road improvement district, or any similar unit created by a local government for the purpose of levying special benefit assessments against property specially benefited by improvements relating to the districts.

     (12) "Owner" means the party or parties having the fee interest in land, except where land is subject to a real estate contract "owner" means the contract vendee.

     (13) "Primarily" or "primary use" means the existing use of the land is so prevalent that when the characteristic use of the land is evaluated any other use appears to be conflicting or nonrelated.

     (14) "Short-rotation hardwoods" means hardwood trees, such as but not limited to hybrid cottonwoods, cultivated by agricultural methods in growing cycles shorter than fifteen years.

     (15) "Small harvester" means every person who from his or her own land or from the land of another under a right or license granted by lease or contract, either directly or by contracting with others for the necessary labor or mechanical services, fells, cuts, or takes timber for sale or for commercial or industrial use in an amount not exceeding two million board feet in a calendar year. When the United States or any instrumentality thereof, the state, including its departments and institutions and political subdivisions, or any municipal corporation therein so fells, cuts, or takes timber for sale or for commercial or industrial use, not exceeding these amounts, the small harvester is the first person other than the United States or any instrumentality thereof, the state, including its departments and institutions and political subdivisions, or any municipal corporation therein, who acquires title to or a possessory interest in the timber. Small harvester does not include persons performing under contract the necessary labor or mechanical services for a harvester, and it does not include the harvesters of Christmas trees or short-rotation hardwoods.

     (16) "Special benefit assessments" means special assessments levied or capable of being levied in any local improvement district or otherwise levied or capable of being levied by a local government to pay for all or part of the costs of a local improvement and which may be levied only for the special benefits to be realized by property by reason of that local improvement.

     (17) "Stumpage value of timber" means the appropriate stumpage value shown on tables prepared by the department under RCW 84.33.091. However, for timber harvested from public land and sold under a competitive bidding process, stumpage value means the actual amount paid to the seller in cash or other consideration. The stumpage value of timber from public land does not include harvesting and marketing costs if the timber from public land is harvested by, or under contract for, the United States or any instrumentality of the United States, the state, including its departments and institutions and political subdivisions, or any municipal corporation therein. Whenever payment for the stumpage includes considerations other than cash, the value is the fair market value of the other consideration. If the other consideration is permanent roads, the value of the roads must be the appraised value as appraised by the seller.

     (18) "Timber" means forest trees, standing or down, on privately or publicly owned land, and except as provided in RCW 84.33.170 includes Christmas trees and short-rotation hardwoods.

     (19) "Timber assessed value" for a county means the sum of: (a) The total stumpage value of timber harvested from publicly owned land in the county multiplied by the public timber ratio, plus; (b) the total stumpage value of timber harvested from privately owned land in the county multiplied by the private timber ratio. The numerator of the public timber ratio is the rate of tax imposed by the county under RCW 84.33.051 on public timber harvests for the year of the calculation. The numerator of the private timber ratio is the rate of tax imposed by the county under RCW 84.33.051 on private timber harvests for the year of the calculation. The denominator of the private timber ratio and the public timber ratio is the composite property tax rate for the county for taxes due in the year of the calculation, expressed as a percentage of assessed value. The department must use the stumpage value of timber harvested during the most recent four calendar quarters for which the information is available. The department must calculate the timber assessed value for each county before October 1st of each year.

     (20) "Timber assessed value" for a taxing district means the timber assessed value for the county multiplied by a ratio. The numerator of the ratio is the total assessed value of forest land in the taxing district. The denominator is the total assessed value of forest land in the county. As used in this section, "assessed value of forest land" means the assessed value of forest land for taxes due in the year the timber assessed value for the county is calculated plus an additional value for public forest land. The additional value for public forest land is the product of the number of acres of public forest land that are available for timber harvesting determined under RCW 84.33.089 and the average assessed value per acre of private forest land in the county.

     (21) "Timber management plan" means a plan prepared by a trained forester, or any other person with adequate knowledge of timber management practices, concerning the use of the land to grow and harvest timber. Such a plan may include:

     (a) A legal description of the forest land;

     (b) A statement that the forest land is held in contiguous ownership of five or more acres and is primarily devoted to and used to grow and harvest timber;

     (c) A brief description of the timber on the forest land or, if the timber on the land has been harvested, the owner's plan to restock the land with timber;

     (d) A statement about whether the forest land is also used to graze livestock;

     (e) A statement about whether the land has been used in compliance with the restocking, forest management, fire protection, insect and disease control, and forest debris provisions of Title 76 RCW; and

     (f) If the land has been recently harvested or supports a growth of brush and noncommercial type timber, a description of the owner's plan to restock the forest land within three years.

[2014 c 137 § 1; 2011 c 101 § 2; 2004 c 177 § 1; 2003 c 313 § 12. Prior: 2001 c 249 § 1; 2001 c 97 § 1; 1995 c 165 § 1; 1986 c 315 § 1; 1984 c 204 § 1.]

Notes:

     Effective date -- 2004 c 177: "This act takes effect January 1, 2005." [2004 c 177 § 8.]

     Findings -- Severability -- 2003 c 313: See notes following RCW 79.15.500.

     Application -- 1995 c 165: "This act applies to taxes levied in 1995 for collection in 1996 and thereafter." [1995 c 165 § 3.]

     Savings -- 1984 c 204: "This act shall not be construed as affecting any existing right acquired or liability or obligation incurred under the sections amended or repealed in this act or under any rule, regulation, or order adopted under those sections, nor as affecting any proceeding instituted under those sections." [1984 c 204 § 48.]

     Effective date -- 1984 c 204: "This act shall take effect July 1, 1984." [1984 c 204 § 49.]