Lobbyists claim the timber industry is "up against the ropes." Here's what they're not saying: Lumber prices are at record highs.
by Rob Davis, The Oregonian/OregonLive, and Tony Schick, Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Thirty years after Oregon lawmakers began giving the state’s timber industry tax cuts that cost rural counties an estimated $3 billion, industry lobbyists warned them not to follow through on efforts to reinstate the tax this year.
Legislators are considering whether to add to taxes paid by the logging industry after an investigation published last year by Oregon Public Broadcasting, The Oregonian/OregonLive and ProPublica found that timber companies, increasingly dominated by Wall Street real estate trusts and investment funds, benefited from the tax cuts at the expense of rural counties struggling to provide basic government services.
During hearings last week, a parade of industry lobbyists and supporters said now would be the worst possible time to reinstate the tax. What they didn’t tell lawmakers: Lumber prices are at record highs. The huge demand for lumber and the accompanying high prices have helped to boost stock prices and profits for some of Oregon’s biggest timber companies.
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