Local officials watching, waiting after news of Temple split
Polk County Enterprise, March 2007
LIVINGSTON -- Polk County officials are taking a wait and see approach to news that Temple-Inland plans to split into the publicly traded companies and sell its timber land and financial services operation that includes Guaranty Bank.
Part of Temple-Inland’s 1.8 million acres of timber-producing property lies in Polk County.
A cursory search of online property tax records showed more than 40 property tax accounts listed in the company’s name in Polk County alone.
Tax Assessor-Collector Bid Smith said if the buyer intends to continue producing timber on the property, it will have little effect on county tax revenues.
“Depending on how they sell the big tracts, it may not affect us much at all,” Smith said.
On just one of those tracts, located on U.S. 59 South, the assessed value with the timber exemption is over $111,000. The company paid about $700 in county taxes on the property and over $1,500 to Goodrich I.S.D.
That sample tract has an appraised value of $774,000 if its use is changed.
The restructuring plan focuses company operations on the corrugated packaging and building products divisions, which have set record earnings in each of the past three years, according to a press release issued Monday.
Stock prices rose after the announcement, but financial analysts with Standard & Poor say they’re reconsidering the company’s BBB investment rating (the second-highest ranking) to junk-bond status.
The transformation should be complete by the end of 2007, company officials said.