Dear Editor:

The Madison County Farm Bureau urges all citizens to vote yes on Amendment #1 on the November 4 ballot.

Amendment #1 deals with property taxes and forestland. Its passage will allow forestland to be taxed according to its value as a forest instead of its potential value as commercially developed property.

To qualify, forestland owners must be willing to sign a 15 year legal covenant to keep their land in tree production. There are substantial penalties for breaking the covenant.

Amendment #1 will benefit our state in many ways. First, it supports Georgia’s $25 billion forest industry and the 150,000 jobs it creates. Georgia is the number one forestry state in the nation, and trees are a major factor in our economy.

Second, forestland is good for the environment. Trees help clean our air and water and reduce soil erosion. Forests also provide habitat for wildlife and recreational opportunities like hunting, fishing, and hiking.

Third, forests add to our quality of life. One of the first things noticed by visitors to our state is how green Georgia is. Amendment #1 encourages landowners to keep their land in forests.

Amendment #1 is good for the economy, the environment, and our quality of life. Please go to the polls on Nov. 4 and vote “yes” for Amendment #1.

Sincerely,

Terry Stephenson, President

Madison County Farm Bureau

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