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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 176G
Category: Financial Services


In the Department of Revenue, Special Programs Division, serves as an area forester for a multi-county area with responsibility for managing forest tax assessment and compliance by harvesters of private and public timber. Identifies and investigates evaded or avoided forest tax. Determines potential tax discovery and liability. Assists in the distribution and approval process for cities and counties for growth management permits. Works closely with city and county prosecutors when timber is involved in criminal activity or functions as a valuation specialist.

Typical Work

Serves as an area forester for a multi-county area with responsibility for managing forest tax assessment and compliance by harvesters of private and public timberlands; deals with the largest and most complex accounts attempting to confirm the accuracy of the species, volume, and grades of timber reported on tax returns and the engineering problems encountered in road building and logging on each site;

Functions as a valuation specialist working within the Stumpage Valuation unit; collects, evaluates and analyzes timber and log sales transaction evidence and logging cost data for the purpose of developing stumpage value schedules used in reporting private timber taxed; investigates State, Federal and private timber sales in the field to determine suitability of sales for use in stumpage valuation studies;

Works as the scaling compliance officer; reviews and approves company log scaling and grading systems for compliance with tax reporting rules and regulations; with the assistance of field staff, conducts random check scaling audits to determine compliance with scaling regulations; reviews company sample scaling systems to assure they are statistically correct; prepares scaling review reports for inclusion in final audit reports; drafts WAC rules regulating scaling procedures for tax reporting purposes;

Conducts on-site field audits of timber harvest units to verify information reported on timber tax returns, such as the species, volume and grade of timber harvested, obstacles to road construction and logging, and other factors that determine tax liability; makes corrections as necessary and contacts taxpayers to review reporting errors; forwards audit corrections to the Forest Tax Audit section for inclusion in the final audit report;

Audits public timber tax returns by cross checking against DNR and U.S. Forest Service timber sale accounting records; contacts taxpayers to review tax reporting errors, advises Forest Tax Office Operations unit when additional tax or credits are due;

Provides assistance to taxpayers in interpreting forest tax laws and administrative rules, and assists taxpayers in completing tax returns; reviews requests for extensions of tax reporting deadlines and forwards recommendations to the Forest Tax Office Operations Supervisor;

Investigates unreported timber harvest and determines the volume of timber harvested and amount of tax due on delinquent accounts; notifies the Forest Tax Compliance Officer of unreported tax liability; investigates potential tax evasion cases and recommends evasion penalties when fraud is discovered;

Conducts formal tax audits for Small Harvester accounts; conducts on-site inspections as required, reviews taxpayer books and records to verify accuracy of tax reporting; prepares final audit reports for review by Audit Division;

Assists Forest Tax Compliance Officer in the investigation of taxpayer assets and business practices on delinquent accounts;

Conducts periodic check-scaling investigations on major timber companies to ensure compliance with tax reporting rules and regulations; advises and assists taxpayers in development of acceptable sample scaling procedures for tax reporting;

Advises county assessors on problems relating to forest land classification and grading;

Conducts advisory appraisals for personal property tax on State timber sales;

Conducts timber and forest land appraisals as required for estate tax investigations and personal property ratio studies;

Depending on location and experience, may be responsible for training and supervision of a Revenue Forester 1 or 2;

Performs other duties as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: professional principles, practices and concepts of forestry, particularly in the areas of forest engineering, timber harvesting, timber sales, timber appraisal, timber marketing, and forest economics; thorough knowledge of Washington Forest Tax laws as well as the Department of Revenue's rules, policies and practices in tax administration; basic theories, principles and concepts of property appraisal.

Ability to: communicate effectively with taxpayers in confrontational situations; train and supervise subordinates; operate a four-wheel-drive vehicle, personal computer and shortwave radio.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable Qualifications

Two years of experience as a Revenue Forester or equivalent; or a Bachelor's degree in forest management, forest engineering, forest economics, or forest science and three years of professional experience in forest tax administration, timber sales administration, timber tax administration, forest practices enforcement, forest inventory and appraisal, logging engineering, log scaling or timber marketing.

Note: Within 18 months of appointment to this class, incumbents must demonstrate successful completion of the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) course in market valuation of real property or a minimum of three credit hours of related course work from an accredited technical or vocational institution.

Note: Employees must possess a valid State of Washington driver's license within 30 days of appointment.

Equivalent education/experience.

Class Specification History

New class: 3-14-89
Class code change (formerly 6129): 7-1-91
Revise salary, definition, minimum qualifications: 4-21-00
Revised new class code: (formerly 95320) effective July 1, 2007