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Want to Save on Property Taxes and Protect Michigan’s Family Forests? Then, Enroll in MDARD’s Qualified Forest Program

Applications for the 2024 tax year are due by September 1, 2023

LANSING— The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Qualified Forest Program (QFP) announced today it is now accepting applications for the 2024 tax year with applications being due no later 11:59 p.m. on Friday, September 1, 2023.

“MDARD’s Qualified Forest Program is designed to encourage Michigan’s landowners to actively manage their privately owned forests for commercial harvest, wildlife habitat enhancement, and improvement of other forest resources,” said Jim Johnson, Director of MDARD’s Environmental Stewardship Division “The program provides two potential tax benefits for enrolled landowners in exchange for managing their forests in a sustainable fashion.”

The two possible benefits which helps save landowners on property taxes are:

  • School Tax Affidavit —Authorizes an exemption from the local school operation millage up to 18 mills of school operating taxes a year. The exemption only applies to land value.

  • Taxable Value Affidavit—Keeps the previous owner’s property taxable value from uncapping on enrolled land after a transfer of ownership.

Requirements for the program:

  • Parcels must be 20 acres or larger to qualify
  • A forest management plan must be written by a qualified forester
  • Buildings and structures are allowed, but are not eligible for exemption
  • Enrolled landowners must pay an annual fee; public access is not required

For parcels less than 40 acres, no less than 80 percent of that parcel must be stocked with productive forest. For parcels of 40 acres or more, at least 50 percent must be stocked with productive forest.

To apply, landowners are required to submit a QFP Application form, QFP Stand Summary and Harvest Schedule, copy of the most recent deed and/or land contract, copy of a tax bill(s), $50 application fee, and forest management plan.

To get started with the Qualified Forest Program or for more information, visit the, call 517-284-5630, or reach out to your local conservation district.