Code Section Group

Revenue and Taxation Code - RTC

DIVISION 2. OTHER TAXES [6001 - 61050]

  ( Heading of Division 2 amended by Stats. 1968, Ch. 279. )

PART 18.5. TIMBER YIELD TAX [38101 - 38908]

  ( Part 18.5 added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 176. )

CHAPTER 1. General Provisions and Definitions [38101 - 38110]
  ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 176. )


This part is known and may be cited as the “Timber Yield Tax Law.”

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 176.)


(a) The Legislature finds and declares that the forest resources and timberlands of the state are among the most valuable of the natural renewable resources of the state and that there is great concern throughout the state relating to their protection, restoration, and utilization.

(b) The Legislature further finds and declares that the forest resources and timberlands of the state produce timber and other forest products, recreational opportunities, regional economic vitality, employment opportunities, and aesthetic enjoyment while providing watershed protection and maintaining fisheries and wildlife.

(c) The Legislature further finds and declares that it is the policy of this state to encourage prudent and responsible forest resource management calculated to serve the public’s need for timber and other forest products, while giving consideration to the public’s need for watershed protection, fisheries and wildlife, employment opportunities, regional economic vitality, and recreational opportunities alike in this and future generations.

(d) The Legislature further finds that it is not the intent of the Legislature by the enactment of this part to take private property for public use without payment of just compensation in violation of the California and United States Constitutions.

(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1600, Sec. 5.)


Except where the context otherwise requires, the definitions in this chapter govern the construction of this part.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 176.)


“Timber” means trees of any species maintained for eventual harvest for forest products purposes, whether planted or of natural growth, standing or down, including Christmas trees, on privately or publicly owned land, but does not mean nursery stock.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 176.)


“Timberland” means privately or publicly owned land which is devoted to and used for growing and harvesting timber, or for growing and harvesting timber and compatible uses, and which is capable of growing an average annual volume of wood fiber of at least 15 cubic feet per acre.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 176.)


“Timber owner” means any person who owns timber immediately prior to felling or the first person who acquires either the legal title or beneficial title to timber after it has been felled from land owned by a federal agency or any other person or agency or entity exempt from property taxation under the Constitution or laws of the United States or under the Constitution or laws of the State of California. “Timber owner” includes any person who owns or acquires legal title or beneficial title to downed timber in this state.

“Timber owner” also includes the seller of timber located on land owned by that seller if the timber sales agreement, contract, or other document provides for the payment of the purchase price on the basis of actual timber volume scaled and does not contain a passage of title clause.

(Amended by Stats. 1981, Ch. 947, Sec. 15.)


“Rate adjustment county” means the following counties: Alpine, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity, and Yuba.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 176.)


“Person” includes any individual, firm, partnership, joint venture, association, social club, fraternal organization, corporation, limited liability company, estate, trust, business trust, receiver, trustee, syndicate, this state, any county, city and county, municipality, district, or other political subdivision of the state, or any other group or combination acting as a unit.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1200, Sec. 71. Effective September 30, 1994.)


“Scaling date” means the date when the quantity of timber harvested, by species, is first definitely determined.

Except for national forest timber, the scaling date shall be no later than the date of delivery of the felled trees to the storage or wood-processing area, whichever is first, or an alternative approved by the board. For national forest timber, the definitely determined timber volume included in forest service, United States Department of Agriculture, billing statements to timber sale contract holders, or an alternative approved by the board after a public hearing, shall be the basis for tax payment.

(Amended by Stats. 1981, Ch. 714, Sec. 426.)


“Immediate harvest value” means the amount that each species or subclassification of timber would sell for on the stump at a voluntary sale made in the ordinary course of business for purposes of immediate harvest. Such immediate harvest values shall be expressed in terms of amount to the nearest dollar per thousand board feet, net Scribner Decimal C log rule, or other unit of measure chosen by the board, and shall be determined in a manner which makes reasonable and adequate allowances for age, size, quality, costs of removal, accessibility to point of conversion, market conditions and all other relevant factors as determined by the board.

For the purposes of this section, the immediate harvest value of Christmas trees shall be the sale price of the Christmas trees in quantities of 100 trees or more in the market area nearest to the place where the trees are cut.

Prior to December 31, 1976, and periodically thereafter as determined by the board, the board in consultation with the Timber Advisory Committee and with the California Division of Forestry and after public hearings, shall adopt rules and regulations establishing a standard unit of measure and establishing conversion factors which convert prevalent units of measure in use in California to Scribner Decimal C log rule or other unit of measure chosen as a standard.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 176.)


“Yield tax” means the dollar amount derived by multiplying the net volume of harvested timber by the appropriate immediate harvest value per unit and by the yield tax rate.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 176.)

RTCRevenue and Taxation Code - RTC