1999 Regular Session

To: Ways and Means

By: Representatives Eaton, Stringer, Holland, Reynolds, Bourdeaux, Bowles, Chaney, Coleman (29th), Comans, Cummings, Davis, Dedeaux, Ellzey, Ford, Formby, Franks, Frierson, Gadd, Gibbs, Green (34th), Grist, Hamilton, Horne, Howell, Hudson, Janus, Ketchings, King, Livingston, Malone, Manning, Maples, Markham, Martinson, McBride, McCoy, McElwain, Middleton, Miles, Moore, Moss, Nettles, Robinson (84th), Rogers, Rotenberry, Saucier, Scott (17th), Shows, Simmons, Smith (35th), Smith (27th), Taylor, Vince, Warren, Weathersby, Williams, Roberson, Guice

House Bill 832

(As Sent to Governor)



SECTION 1. (1) As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed to herein unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(a) "Approved reforestation practices" means the following practices for establishing a crop of trees suitable for manufacturing into forest products:

(i) "Pine and hardwood tree planting practices" including the cost of seedlings, planting by hand or machine, and site preparation.

(ii) "Mixed-stand regeneration practices" to establish a mixed-crop of pine and hardwood trees by planting or direct seeding, or both, including the cost of seedlings, seed/acorns, planting, seeding and site preparation.

(iii) "Direct seeding practices" to establish a crop of pine or oak trees by directly applying seed/acorns to the site including the cost of seed/acorns, seeding and site preparation.

(iv) "Post-planting site preparation practices" to reduce or control undesirable competition within the first growing season of an established crop of trees.

Approved reforestation practices shall not include the establishment of orchards, Christmas trees or ornamental trees.

(b) "Eligible tree species" means pine and hardwood commercial tree species suitable for manufacturing into forest products.

(c) "Cost-share assistance" means partial financial payment for approved reforestation practices from the state government as authorized under Sections 49-19-201 through 49-19-227, or the federal government.

(d) "Eligible owner" means a private individual, group or association, but the term shall not mean private corporations which manufacture products or provide public utility services of any type or any subsidiary of such corporations.

(e) "Eligible lands" means nonindustrial private lands owned by a private individual, group or association, but shall not mean lands owned by private corporations which manufacture products or provide public utility services of any type or any subsidiary of such corporations.

(f) "Reforestation prescription or plan" means a written description of the approved reforestation practices that the eligible owner plans to use and includes a legal description and map of the area to be reforested, a list of the tree seedling or seed species to be used in the reforestation and the site preparation practices that will be utilized.

(2) Subject to the limitations provided in subsection (3) of this section, upon submission to the State Tax Commission of the written verification provided for in subsection (5) of this section and such other documentation as the State Tax Commission may require, any eligible owner who incurs costs for approved reforestation practices for eligible tree species on eligible lands shall be allowed a credit, in an amount equal to the lesser of fifty percent (50%) of the actual costs of the approved reforestation practices or fifty percent (50%) of the average cost of approved practices as established by the Mississippi Forestry Commission under Section 49-19-219, against the taxes imposed pursuant to this chapter for the tax year in which the costs are incurred.

(3) The credit provided for in this section shall not exceed the lesser of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) or the amount of income tax imposed upon the eligible owner for the taxable year reduced by the sum of all other credits allowable to the eligible owner under this chapter, except credit for tax payments made by or on behalf of the eligible owner. Any unused portion of the credit may be carried forward for succeeding tax years. The maximum dollar amount of the credit provided for in this section that an eligible owner may utilize during his lifetime shall be Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) in the aggregate.

(4) If an eligible owner receives any state or federal cost share assistance funds to defray the cost of an approved reforestation practice, the cost of that practice on the same acre or acres within the same tax year is not eligible for the credit provided in this section unless the eligible owner's adjusted gross income is less than the federal earned income credit level.

(5) To be eligible for the tax credit, an eligible owner must have a reforestation prescription or plan prepared for the eligible lands by a graduate forester of a college, school or university accredited by the Society of American Foresters or by a registered forester under the Foresters Registration Law of 1977. The forester must verify in writing that the reforestation practices were completed and that the reforestation prescription or plan was followed.

SECTION 2. Section 1 of this act shall be codified as a separate code section in Article 1, Chapter 7, Title 27, Mississippi Code of 1972.

SECTION 3. Nothing in this act shall affect or defeat any claim, assessment, appeal, suit, right or cause of action for taxes due or accrued under the income tax laws before the date on which this act becomes effective, whether such claims, assessments, appeals, suits or actions have been begun before the date on which this act becomes effective or are begun thereafter; and the provisions of the income tax laws are expressly continued in full force, effect and operation for the purpose of the assessment, collection and enrollment of liens for any taxes due or accrued and the execution of any warrant under such laws before the date on which this act becomes effective, and for the imposition of any penalties, forfeitures or claims for failure to comply with such laws.

SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after January 1, 1999.