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Land Barons, Billionaires and Property Taxes
 
To fully understand what you are about to read you will need to familiarize yourself with the Old World political system prior to the French Revolution, as these same conditions now exist in most of the United States. I recommend reading The Ancien Regime and the Revolution by Alexis De Tocqueville.
 

Regional Timberland Ownership Profiles

Of the 455.9 million acres of timberland within the 32-state study area, 335.5 million acres (74%) are privately-owned while only 120.4 million acres (26%) are publicly-owned. 

335.5 million acres translates to 524,218 square miles, a landmass almost the size of Alaska and twice the size of France.
 
All the links are at the bottom.
 
53 families own 7,209 square miles of Industrial Timberland in Washington State; another 30,000 companies, individuals and trusts own another 5,068 square miles of non industrial timberland; for a total of 12,277 square miles of Timberland; that is 1/6 of the total land area of Washington State. 66,582 square miles of Washington are land areas. Thanks to the state tax laws, none of these land owners have had to pay property tax on any of that land since 1971. This setup exists in every state in the Union. How many of our elected officials are part of this class of people? How many Federal Judges belong to this class of people? 
 
"Gov. Kay Ivey herself – the Kay E. Ivey Blind Trust, actually – owns huge swaths of land in the Black Belt.

In Monroe county the Ivey trust owns 1,572 acres with a market value of $2.6 million. Because of Alabama's tax law the land was assessed for tax purposes last year at less than $60,000, or the price of a new truck. The trust, for 1,500 acres of land, was billed just $1,951 in taxes. That’s a buck and a quarter an acre."

     "Many people do not know what National Forests are. Others may have heard much about them, but have no idea of their true purpose and use. A little misunderstanding may cause a great deal of dissatisfaction. The National Forests very closely concern all the people of the West and, indeed, of the whole country. They affect, directly or indirectly, many great business interests. It is the object of this publication to explain just what they mean, what they are for, and how to use them." 
        "The timber is there to be used, now and in the future. It is given away, for domestic use, to the man with a home and to the prospector developing his claim. They get it for the asking, free of charge. When wanted for commercial purposes, timber is sold to the small man and to the big man--sold promptly and at a reasonable cost. The small man can buy a few thousand feet; the big man can buy many million feet, provided it is a good thing for all the people to let him purchase a large amount, but not otherwise. The local demand is always considered first. There is no chance for monopoly, because the Secretary of Agriculture must by law sell as much or as little as he thinks best, to whom and at whatever price he thinks will best serve the interests of all the people."
       "Thus the timber is there, first of all to be used. The more it is used, the better. Far from being locked up, it is, on the contrary, opened up, and opened up on fair terms to all alike. When it is on the open public domain it is often very hard and sometimes impossible for the small man to get it and hold it, because he is shoved aside by the big timber corporations with which he can not compete. On National Forests the Government holds the timber with a special view to its use by the small user." Gifford Pinchot, The Use Of The National Forests 1907.
 
And this is the way it was for many decades but, the Corporations eventually changed all this with the help of Republicans and Democrats in the State Legislatures and the Presidential executive orders from George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton's Northwest Forest Plan. George Bush Sr. Ended clear cutting in our National Forests as a management tool in 1992 with what was called the "New Perspective for Managing the National Forest System"
     Bill Clinton would sign the Northwest Forest Plan in 1994, eliminating 98% of all logging in our National Forests. Of course this was done under the guise of protecting the Spotted Owl in northern California, Oregon and Washington; a combined landmass of over 200,000 square miles. To put that into perspective, the entire landmass of the United Kingdom is 93,696 square miles. What they didn't tell anyone, is that by eliminating 98% of the logging in our National Forests, they also eliminated 98% of the competition to the timber corporations that hold 12,278 square miles of private timberland in Washington State alone. 
 
      "The Reed family's Green Diamond Resource Company was founded in 1890 and is now among the oldest continuously operating forest products companies in the Pacific northwest. The family's holdings span 1.37 million acres (2,140 square miles) across California, Oregon, and Washington."
 
   "The Emmerson family owns Sierra Pacific Industries, the country's second-largest lumber producer, along with roughly 2 million acres (3,125 square miles) of timberland across California and Washington."
 
    "Weyerhaeuser’s first timberlands were in the Pacific Northwest, dating back to when we purchased 900,000 acres of forestlands in Washington state in 1900. Today, we own approximately 2.9 million acres (4,531 square miles) of highly productive forests in Oregon and Washington."
 
    "Weyerhaeuser Company is an American timberland company which owns nearly 12.4 million acres of timberlands in the U.S. and manages an additional 14.0 million acres timberlands under long-term licenses in Canada. (That is a combined total of 41,250 square miles; a landmass larger than the State of Maine)
 
   "Forest tax – sometimes called timber tax – is an excise tax that began in 1971, when the Legislature excluded timber from property taxation. In place of a property tax on trees, timber owners pay a 5 percent excise tax on the stumpage value of their timber when it is harvested. In 1982, the Forest Tax was extended to timber harvested from state and federal land, in addition to private land." What does that mean? It means that none of these private timber companies pays any property taxes. Let me say that again; they own 12,278 square miles of private property in Washington State alone, and pay no property tax. You own a quarter of an acre and pay property tax. 
 
In conclusion, what we learn here, is that property taxes are the great equalizer between the rich and the poor. If taxed equally, the rich may buy large tracts of land, but only to the extant that they don't become a burden. As it sits now, they can buy up an almost unlimited amount of land and hold it in perpetuity without any financial burden. Further more, since these assets create an unlimited amount of credit, these entities now hold a landmass that allows them the same financial capabilities as a country of equal size. Furthermore, our National Forests, Grasslands and BLM land, as originally designed, were the only functional form of "socialism" to have ever existed; and it becomes apparent, they are necessary to keep the predatory class in check.
 
   It is time to free ourselves from this aristocracy of Billionaires. 
 
https://dor.wa.gov/taxes-rates/other-taxes/forest-tax
 
http://www.wfpa.org/sustainable-forestry/
 
https://www-al-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.al.com/news/2019/10/how-to-pay-125-an-acre-in-taxes.html?amp_js_v=a3&amp_gsa=1&outputType=amp&usqp=mq331AQFKAGwASA%3D#aoh=15997740511796&csi=1&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.al.com%2Fnews%2F2019%2F10%2Fhow-to-pay-125-an-acre-in-taxes.html
 
https://www.forest2market.com/blog/new-report-details-regional-timberland-ownership-and-class-profiles#:~:text=46%25%20of%20timberland%20is%20located,48%25%20of%20all%20forested%20land.&text=Of%20the%20455.9%20million%20acres,26%25)%20are%20publicly%2Downed.
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