Rural landowners could see change in wildland protection taxes

Medford, Ore. – People who own timber 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 immediately, a committee will pour over property maps to determine if land qualifies as “forestland” or “not forestland”.

Melissa Cano, Public Information officer for ODF said 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,” Cano said. “We have six to ten fires a day when we get full blown into fire season so we want to make sure that every single land is safe and people are paying their taxes to keep safe.”

Cano added this will not increase ODF’s annual budget.

Property owners will be notified of their land’s classification and their tax rate via mail in 2018

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