A week or so ago, I was interviewed by the National Network of Forest Practitioners (NNFP) about the history of forest cooperatives in the USA. The content is a slight update of material published in 2006 as part of a USDA Forest Service General Technical Report.
The interview was video- and audio- recorded right on my front porch and will at some point be edited and released. I'll post when available.
I recently finished a fascinating book, The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information (University of Chicago Press, 2006), by Richard Lanham. Lanham is an emeritus professor of English who draws on Homer, Peter Drucker, and Barbie to suggest that our society and economics are redefined.
AB749 (previously mentioned here) passed the Assembly 97-1 and will move on for consideration in the State Senate. The Bill, if enacted, would provide a tax credit to loggers and others that purchase logging equipment primarily used for bio-energy harvesting. Based on testimony, the original Bill was amended to be less restrictive in terms of how much of the product must be for energy use.
This is a follow-up to this post on a recent Wisconsin State Journal article. I submitted as a guest column, but it was not published.
Since the 1970s, there've been questions about the effects of property tax incentives and tax-exempt lands on local communities. The main concerns are tax shifts and revenue shortfalls. UW-Madison has produced at least three reports on the subject over the years (as have others). All indicate no impact.
We conducted a study in 2008 that suggests this is no longer the case. New entries into the MFL (and other tax reduction or exemption status) do have an effect on local revenues and other taxpayers.
Here are links to three such studies from 1973, 1976, and 1983.
I do not know all the details of the Coleman Lake Club situation, but from what I do know, I think the State Journal is pretty close in its Sunday article. That said, they seem to suggest that the "loophole" applies only to large ownerships. However, I would argue that those owning large ownerships "learned" from those owners of smaller parcels. Perhaps I'll get the chance to share those views later this week.