The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


October 8, 2012

Congress Members Back Legislation That Could Benefit Themselves, Relatives


The bill to lengthen federal grazing permits could benefit her husband, she said. Her husband feeds a dozen or so cattle on federal lands that adjoin one of their ranches, she said. However, she said, that operation is "inconsequential" compared with the 500 to 1,500 cattle sent to market annually from the family's main ranch 90 miles away.

"There are so many more ranchers that I represent that have substantial [federal] leases that are integral and important to the financial viability of their operations," she said. Not pushing for longer leases, she said, "would be unfair to the people I represent."

In Alabama, timber production is one of the state's largest industries, and timberland is one of Sen. Jeff Sessions's larger assets. Efforts by Sessions, R-Ala., to reform outdated timber tax laws have been to help the state's economy and U.S. industry in general, a spokesman said.

In 1999, Sessions sponsored the Timber Tax Simplification Act, a proposed law to revamp how the federal government taxes timber sales. The tax bill finally passed in 2004 as a Senate floor amendment to the American Jobs Creation Act.

"This modest change in the law will allow timber owners to get more timber to the mill without paying unnecessarily high tax rates on their harvest," Sessions said then in a news release.

Sessions at the time owned 40 acres of timberland in western Alabama worth between $50,000 and $100,000. In 2009, he inherited from his mother and aunt 1,100 acres of timberland valued at the time between $1 million and $5 million. Last year, he reported earning between $115,000 and $1,050,000 from the sale of timber.

From 2005 through 2009, Sessions sponsored or co-sponsored three other bills promoting tax reforms generally related to timber.

Sessions, through his communications director, Stephen Miller, declined a request for an interview. But Miller said in a statement that timber is critical to Session's constituents and the senator's support to reform the tax code is in line with his broader goals to promote domestic industry and jobs nationwide. His efforts have had bipartisan support and were necessary for timber states, including Alabama, because of changes in forestry management, Miller said. He said the family timber holdings had no bearing on the senator's actions.

Text Only
  • Union County bridge replacement project begins Aug. 4

    HARTLETON — A PennDOT maintenance crew in Union County will begin a bridge replacement project Aug. 4 on Pleasant Grove Road, Route 3005, in Lewis Township, between Moll Road and Wirth Road, north of Pleasant Grove.

    July 23, 2014

  • DanCrash23.jpg BREAKING NEWS: Woman killed today in Danville area collision

    DANVILLE – An older woman, from the area, was killed in a log truck-car crash at about 1:45 this afternoon at Routes 642 and 54 in Valley Township.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jay Paterno sues Penn State for 'rush to judgment'

    STATE COLLEGE - Two former Penn State assistant football coaches, including a son of the late Joe Paterno, are suing the university, alleging that it fired them prematurely after the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal surfaced.

    July 23, 2014

  • 400-pound bull on the lam

    State police and a western Pennsylvania cattle owner are looking for a 2-year-old bull that has been missing for more than a week.

    July 23, 2014

  • Complainer: Cars whiz by, and drivers take whiz

    The Pennsylvania Turnpike has asked state police to increase patrols near an area of the toll road where a woman says she can see motorists exposing and relieving themselves near her backyard.

    July 23, 2014

  • spider24online.jpg Arachnid alert!

    We came across this spider brunching on another today near the American Legion post in Herndon. We aren't sure what type of spiders they are. Particularly the one with the full stomach. Do you?

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Today's Editorial: Experts showing the way for reform

    Domestic abuse remains one of the most prevalent crimes nationally yet remains routinely unreported.

    July 23, 2014

  • Feds ship 500 children to Pennsylvania

    HARRISBURG — An influx of unaccompanied children crossing the southern U.S. border is spilling into Pennsylvania, as state officials received word Monday that more than 500 are being housed in the commonwealth.

    July 22, 2014

  • Hope Lewis Inmate's widow wants $750,000 from Northumberland County

    SUNBURY — The widow of a Shamokin man who hanged himself inside Northumberland County Prison is demanding $750,000, the firing of all jail employees who worked the night of June 16 and a complete overhaul of policies and procedures for suicidal inmates.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vancliff Lifer gets more time for molesting Danville girls

    WILKES-BARRE — A convicted murderer accused of having persuaded a former Danville woman to bring two girls to visit him in a northeastern Pennsylvania prison so he could molest them has been sentenced to additional prison time and fined.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.