OverviewThe Commercial Forest program provides a significant property tax reduction to private landowners as an incentive to retain and manage their forest land for long-term timber production in support of the state's forest products industry. Landowners pay a specific tax (currently $1.25 per acre) in property taxes in exchange for managing their land as a productive commercial forest. More than 2.2 million acres of private forest land that are owned by 1,800 landowners are enrolled in the program. Commercial Forest lands are open to the public for foot access for hunting and fishing.
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 Landowners must pay a withdrawal penalty to the township when land is withdrawn from the program.