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Senate approves managed forest overhaul

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Senate has approved a bill that would re-shape Wisconsin’s managed forest program.

Program participants get property tax breaks if they keep their land open to the public and follow timber management plans. Participants can close their land but get a smaller tax break and must pay a fee.

The bill would cap closed land at 320 acres, reduce the fee for withdrawing early from the program and allow property owners to lease their land. It also would eliminate local taxes on timber harvested from program land but allow local governments to keep 80 percent of closed acreage fees. Right now 100 percent of those fees go to the state forestry account.

The Senate approved the measure 20-11 Tuesday. The proposal goes next to the state Assembly.

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