California’s new “Lumber and Engineered Wood Products 1% Assessment”

In a state hit hard by the economic times, a new assessment on lumber has been levied by California lawmakers. Assembly Bill (AB) 1492, concerning lumber products went into effect Jan. 1.

Now, when purchasing certain wood products, a one percent assessment fee will be collected by retailers, and in some cases, by contractors. This fee is to fund the newly formed “Timber Regulation and Forest Restoration Fund” under the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The State Board of Equalization (BOE) will be responsible for collecting the fee.

According to the California State Board of Equalization (BOE), the BOE has contacted approximately 200,000 licensed contractors and retailers who may be affected by this new assessment imposed upon purchasers of lumber products. The one percent fee applies to out-of-state products brought into the state as well. Pre-set flat fee material contracts previous to the Jan. 1 enactment of the bill are also required to pay the one percent fee on qualifying wood materials.

The Lumber Products Assessment is estimated to generate $35 million in revenue annually for the Timber Regulation and Forest Restoration Fund.

Some of the wood products to be assessed are lumber, plywood particle board, poles, decking material, and glue-laminated timber. Wood products that take significant labor to produce will be exempt. Some of these products are furniture, firewood, paper products, cabinets, molding, and wainscoting.

According to the verbiage in AB1492, the funds collected for the Timber Regulation and Forest Restoration Fund are to be distributed to all departments involved in the regulation and care of the state’s forests. AB1492 also contains law covering fiscal responsibility for starting fires in this state.

It states that in the event of a fire, the state fire department has the right to pursue civil action against the party that it has determined to be the cause of said fire. This can include fires that occur after a fire safety violation or notice has been given and not acted upon.

To learn more about AB1492, visit www.boe.ca.gov (type lumber assessment in the search).

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