If the timberland is part of a larger farm tract which has cropland acres and the cropland exceeds the amount timberland; the timberland is valued as other farmland and is valued using a PI value of 1/6 of cropland PI value per acre. Other timber tracts can be valued in one of these ways:

Wooded Acreage Assessment Transition

What acreage qualifies?
1. If wooded acreage was classified as farmland during the 2006 assessment year, then the property shall be assessed by multiplying the current fair cash value of the property by the transition percentage. The chief county assessment officer shall determine the transition percentage for the property by dividing the property’s 2006 equalized assessed value as farmland by the 2006 fair cash value of the property.
2. Is at least 5 (five) contiguous acres.
3. Does not qualify as cropland, permanent pasture, other farmland or wasteland under Section 10-125 of the Property Tax Code.
4. Is not managed under a forestry management plan and considered to be other farmland under Section 10-150- of the Property Tax Code.
5. Does not qualify for another preferential assessment under the Property Tax Code.
6. Was owned by the taxpayer prior to October 1, 2007.

This property is valued using a transition percentage which is equal to the property’s 2006 equalized assessed value (EAV) as farmland divided by the propertys 2006 fair cash value. Each assessment year, the CCAO will multiply that years fair cash value by the transition percentage.

Conservation Stewardship

What acres qualifies?
1. The property must not be used for any residential or commercial purposes that “materially disturbs the land” and must be:
a. Unimproved woodland, prairie, wetlands, or other vacant and undeveloped land.
b. A minimum of 5 (five) contiguous acres and
c. Managed under an Illinois Department of Natural Resources approved conservation management plan.

Beginning with 2008 assessment year, a qualifying property is assessed at 5 percent of its fair cash value.
The plan begins January 1st of the following year the plan is submitted and approved by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (regardless of the date it is approved.) Assessments are not pro-rated.
Example: A plan is received and approved on 06/30/2014.
Preferential assessment is effective for tax year 2015.
Taxes are paid in 2016.

Effective 6-1-2015, the following rules have changed for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP):

a. Taxpayer must have legal access (not landlocked) to the property prior to enrollment.
b. CSP plans expire every 10 years. For continuous CSP tax valuation, taxpayers must reapply for CSP prior to their 10-year contract expiring or there is a change in ownership of acerage enrolled in CSP.
c. New landowners of previously enrolled CSP properties may submit an application for enrollment only after they have taken control of the property.
d. A taxpayer must timely pay all tax debts on the CSP property, and the CSP property must not be in foreclosure at any time during the enrollment process or during enrollment in CSP.
e. If, after attempting to remind the taxpayer, the Department determines that the taxpayer is not fulfilling its obligation to update and report management activities on CSP-enrolled property, the Department can remove the property from CSP.
f. If ownership of the enrolled acres changes, the Department will remove them from CSP. However, the new property owner may re-enroll the property.

To apply contact Illinois Department of Natural Resources @ 217-785-8284 or www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/CSP

Forestry Management Plan

What acres qualifies?
1. Own or operate at least ten contiguous acres of land within Illinois on which no building is present.
2. Have one of the primary management goals be timber production (harvest).

Generally, plans are renewed every 10 years. Under this program the timberland is considered as “other farmland” and is assessed under the Farmland Assessment Law (based on its soil productivity index (PI) at 1/6 of the equalized assessed value certified by the Illinois Department of Revenue for that PI)

To apply contact Illinois Department of Natural Resources http://dnr.state.il.us/conservation/forestry/

Timberland Publications: