Ohio Forest Tax Law

property tax reduction program

administered by the ODNR Division of Forestry

Ohio Forest Tax Law (OFTL)

The Ohio Forest Tax Law is a property tax reduction program that is administered by the ODNR Division of Forestry. In exchange for a 50% tax reduction on managed forested acres, landowners agree to manage their forest land for the commercial production of timber and to abide by pertinent rules and regulations.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • 10 contiguous acres of woodland
  • A current qualifying Woodland Management Plan
  • Property boundaries clearly marked per OFTL specifications
  • Exclusion of livestock from all enrolled woodland acres
  • Woodland must be accessible for management

Plantation acres must be established for one year, and have stocking of no less than 300 live trees/acre (commercial orchards and Christmas tree plantations do not qualify).

providing advice for achieving your goals

Contact A Forester First

Foresters can provide advice for achieving your goals for your woodlands.

What can a Service Forester do for you?

  • Provide direction on selling timber
  • Visit your property
  • Tree identification
  • Assess the health and diversity of your woodland
  • Woodland Management Plan development
  • Wildlife habitat management
  • Reforestation recommendations
  • Assist with cost-share programs

Another Resource:

The “Call Before You Cut” hotline gives all Ohioans access to a professional forester.

Assistance to Private Landowners

Service Forestry

Service Foresters offer assistance to Ohio woodland owners interested in active woodland management in these areas:

  • Ohio Forest Tax Law
  • Timber harvest advice
  • Educational events and workshops
  • Woodland evaluation and recommendations
  • Forest stand improvement
  • Wildlife habitat management
  • Reforestation
  • Woodland Management Plans

Landowners may obtain information and assistance by contacting the service forester in their area. Please visit our website or call the number below to find your local service forester.

assistance for landowners

Woodland Management Plans

As a landowner, a Woodland Management Plan assists you by:

  • Describing your woodland
  • Helping you prioritize woodland management activities
  • Outlining a strategy for accomplishing your forest management goals
  • Compiling resources for easy access and reference
  • Managing wildlife habitat

A Woodland Management Plan is required for basic eligibility for OFTL, Tree Farm, and cost-share programs.

It’s the Key to Long-Term Care of Your Woodland!

woodland health & productivity

Forest Stand Improvement

Increases woodland health and productivity by:

  • Controlling grapevines and other undesirable woody plants
  • Habitat management to benefit wildlife
  • Removing invasive plant species such as:
    • Bush honeysuckle
    • Tree of heaven
    • Autumn olive
    • And many more!
  • Performing crop tree release to accelerate growth in quality trees.
    • Funding may be available for this type of work through federal cost-share or incentive programs

starting or expanding


Looking to create or expand your woodlands? A forester can help by:

  • Providing guidance on selecting tree species to match your goals, soils, and site.
  • Give recommendations on seedling size, spacing, and maintenance for pre- & post-planting.

The Northwest Ohio Windbreak Program is an interagency effort, available in 17 counties in NW Ohio to assist landowners with establishing field windbreaks.

stay up-to-date


An important aspect of caring for your woodlands includes staying up-to-date on the latest information.

Some ways to stay informed include:


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between CAUV and OFTL?

Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV) reduces property taxes through varying rates based on soil types. The local auditor’s office administers the program. Ohio Forest Tax Law (OFTL) reduces forestland taxes by a 50% rate. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry oversees the program.


I just bought forestland on the program. Do I need to reapply to keep certification?

New owners must reapply. Any change in ownership invalidates the certificate.


Are there any regular inspections?

The Department of Forestry inspects OFTL forestland every five years.


How does forestland lose OFTL certification?

If land use changes, ownership changes, the landowner withdraws their forestland, or if the forestland fails to meet any of the requirements.


Are there any penalties for withdrawing forestland from the program?



Are there any renewal fees?

No. Renewals are not required for the program.


When can I apply?