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Commercial Forest Program

The Commercial Forest (CF) program was enacted to provide a property tax incentive for private landowners to retain and manage forest land profitably and sustainably for long-term timber production in support of Michigan’s forest products industry. The incentive for landowners is that they do not pay ad valorem property tax. Instead, the landowners pay a specific tax of $1.25 per acre per year for land enrolled in the CF program. Additionally, the state of Michigan makes an annual payment of $1.25 per acre to counties where the land is enrolled to help make up for the tax reduction. Landowners must pay a withdrawal penalty to the township when land is withdrawn from the program.

The Commercial Forest statute and administrative rules define landowner responsibilities and management of the program. CF landowners' responsibilities include:

  • Managing the property for commercial timber production;
  • Having a written forest management plan;
  • Certifying that the forest management plan is in effect; and
  • Allowing public access (foot) for hunting and fishing.

The law prohibits other activities on the land such as agriculture, grazing and industrial, residential, resort or commercial activities.

Landowner permission to hunt or fish is not required. Although commercial forest landowners must allow access for the purposes of hunting and fishing, landowners retain their private property rights. Access to CF land, by motor vehicle or for activities other than hunting and fishing, is at the discretion of the landowner.

Applications to list land in the program must be postmarked no later than April 1 to be considered for listing in the following tax year.

CF Program Updates

The CF statute was amended by Gov. Snyder on June 6, 2013. Click here for a summary of the amendments.

The CF administrative rules (R299.2601-299.2612) are currently under revision. To review the proposed revisions, click here.

CF Program Documents


For additional information regarding the CF program contact:

Shirley Businski
Commercial Forest Program Leader
DNR-Forest Resources Division
P.O. Box 30452
Lansing, MI 48909-7952
phone: 517-284-5849
email: businskis@michigan.gov

OR

Paul Kollmeyer
Resource Protection & Cooperative Programs Section Manager
DNR-Forest Resources Division
P.O. Box 30452
Lansing, MI 48909-7952
phone: 517-284-5866
email: kollmeyerp@michigan.gov

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