California Enacts Tax on Lumber and Engineered Wood Products

Thursday, September 13th, 2012


California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1492 into law creating a new 1% tax on lumber and engineered wood products. 2012 Cal. Stat. ch. 289. This legislation adds section 4629 to the Public Resources Code, which in turn creates the Timber Regulation and Forest Restoration Fund. The statute directs the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection to adopt a regulation implementing the tax no later than October 1, 2012. The tax itself will be effective on January 1, 2013.

While a full analysis of the impacted products must wait for the Board to draft its regulation, the statute gives some guidance as to what will be considered an engineered wood product. The statute specifically lists "plywood," "laminated beams," and "particleboard" as items that qualify as engineered wood product. Also, the statute defines "lumber products" as "product[s] in which wood or wood fiber is a principal component part"; however, items such as furniture, paper, and hardwood flooring are specifically excluded from the definition.

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