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Managed Forest Law (MFL) Withdrawal Questions

Are there rules for withdrawing MFL land?

Yes, withdrawals must meet one of the following conditions:

  • an entire parcel (contiguous piece) of MFL land;
  • all MFL land within a legal description (quarter-quarter, fractional lot or government lot);
  • an entire MFL entry;
  • construction*; or
  • productivity/sustainability: all or part of the land is unable to produce (productivity) or is unsuitable for producing (sustainability) merchantable timber at the required level to meet MFL eligibility**.

Land remaining after a withdrawal must meet the minimum eligibility requirements. 

*Construction: By using this withdrawal type, you certify that if your land is subject to a city, village, town or county zoning ordinance that establishes a minimum acreage for ownership of land or for a construction site, you are requesting withdrawal of not less than that minimum acreage, as required by s. 77.88(3j)(a)3, Wis. Stats. You are also certifying that you understand and agree that you are fully and solely responsible for any and all consequences that may arise if you are found to be in violation of this requirement.

**Productivity/sustainability: DNR approval is required for withdrawals for sustainability/productivity.

How can I obtain an estimate of the MFL withdrawal tax?

See the declaration of withdrawal form [PDF] for withdrawal tax calculations. For a fee, you can submit a request for estimate [PDF exit DNR] from the Department of Revenue. DNR staff cannot provide estimates for withdrawal tax.

When will I receive my MFL withdrawal tax and fee invoice?

Once your withdrawal form is received and processed, the invoice for the withdrawal tax and fee will be sent approximately six to 12 weeks later. Payment is normally due by Jan. 31.

What happens if I do not pay my MFL withdrawal tax and fee?

The tax and fee will be attached to your property tax bill as a special charge.

When is the withdrawal effective?

If the withdrawal form is received by Dec. 1 the land will be withdrawn effective the following Jan. 1.

If I withdraw my land from MFL, when can I start building my home or carrying out other practices on my land?

The withdrawal tax and fee must be paid and the withdrawal order issued before beginning any practice inconsistent with the law.

If I withdraw my land from MFL, when can I start restricting public access to my land?

You can restrict access beginning with effective date of the order, usually the next Jan. 1.

Are any withdrawals from the MFL program exempt from a withdrawal tax and fee?

There are limited situations in which withdrawal from the MFL program is exempt from a withdrawal tax and fee including:

  • Land sold for use as a public road, railroad or utility right-of-way.
  • Land sold for use as a park, recreational trail, wildlife or fish habitat area or a public forest to the federal, state or local government.
  • Land sold or leased to a public agency for a safety communications tower, up to a maximum of 10 acres.
  • Land acquired by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to be held in trust status for a tribe.
  • Land sold for a public purpose to a city, village, or town that is the taxing jurisdiction
  • Land becomes unable to produce or unsuitable for producing merchantable timber at the required level to meet MFL eligibility, as determined by the department.