Anyone cutting timber in Houston County will first have to get a permit under a proposed ordinance.
The commission held a first reading Tuesday and expects to vote on it at its next meeting Feb. 7. Barry Holland, the county’s director of administration, said the ordinance has two purposes.
One is to ensure that taxes are collected. Timber cutters are supposed to pay property taxes on the value of the timber cut, but the county has no way of knowing when a cutting is done. Holland said the county suspects some timber has been cut without the taxes being paid.
A second and possibly more important reason, he said, is to ensure that cutters pay for any road damage done as a result of a cutting. The permit itself will not cost anything, but in order to get on cutters will have to put up a bond to cover the costs of any road damage from trucks.