Muskingum County Auditor | Muskingum County, Ohio
Ohio Forest Tax Law
The Purpose of the Ohio Forest Tax Law (see OAC 1501:3-10-02)

The Ohio Forest Tax Law provides a 50% reduction in property taxes for qualifying forest acreage.  The tax reduction is exchanged for an agreement that landowners will manage their forestland for commercial timber production and other forest products while abiding by the rules and regulations of said law.

Requirements to be Eligible for Ohio Forest Tax Law

The land must:

  • Meet the definition of “Forestland”
  • Be accessible for management
  • Be at least 10 acres after exceptions
  • Be no less than 120 feet wide
  • Have an established “Forest Management Plan”
  • Must have clearly marked and continuously maintained boundary lines

Forestland is land with the primary purpose of growing, managing, and harvesting of a merchantable forest product of commercial species under accepted silvicultural systems through natural or artificial reforestation methods which has an approved Forest Management Plan.  The forestland shall consist of a stand(s) of commercial species of forest trees which contain at least 50 sq ft of basal area or at least 300 living stems per acre which shall be evenly distributed throughout the stand.

Forest Management Plan

A Forest Management Plan is a written document establishing direction and goals for the management of a specific forestland area.  The document must be developed by a professional consulting forester.  The plan will specify all silvicultural practices and activities necessary to accomplish the merchantable production of a forest product.  All practices will be described in the plan including the location, description, map, and management schedule.

Responsibilities of Landowners
  • Make a declaration that the forestland will be exclusively devoted to forestry.
  • Before cutting timber, submit a timber harvest notice of intent and a timber harvest plan to the local Soil and Water Conservation District and Service Forester.
  • When cutting timber, use a Master Logger certified by Ohio Forestry Association.
  • Participate in specific practices to prevent, reduce, and protect against erosion, water pollution, sedimentation, livestock, and forest fires.
When and Where to Apply

Applications may be made at any time via the ODNR Service Forester.  There is a one-time fee of $75 due after certification of eligibility.  Certificates of Classification issued by the Chief of the Division of Forestry must be received by the County Auditor before October 1st to be applied to the next tax duplicate.

Renewal Applications

The application is valid indefinitely.  A new application will be required for land use or ownership changes.


There is no penalty to withdraw from the Ohio Forest Tax Law program.

For More Information

Ohio Department of Natural Resources – (740) 961-0194

Muskingum Soil and Water Department – (740) 454-2027

Muskingum County Auditor’s Office – (740) 455-7109 Ext. 101

Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Ohio Division of Forestry

Ohio Revised Code 5713.22


Application for Classification of Forest Land