Central Point, Ore. — People who own timberland or grazing land may see a change in their property taxes for wildland fire protection.
The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District provides wildfire protection to 1.8 million acres of land in both Jackson and Josephine counties.
Starting now, a committee will pour over property maps to determine if land qualifies as “forestland” or “not forestland”.
Melissa Cano, Public Information Officer for ODF says depending on how a piece of land is designated, the amount of taxes the land owner pays could be effected.
“It’s about fire protection. We have 6-10 fires a day when we get full blown into fire season in those hotter months so we want to make sure that every single land is safe and people are paying their taxes to keep safe,” Cano explains.
ODF says this will not increase their annual budget of $7.5 million.
Property owners will be notified of their land’s classification and their tax rate via mail in 2018.
Several open meetings and town halls will be held to answer any questions property owners may have.