Here’s the press release sent statewide by the Ohio Farmers earlier today:
State Representatives Sheehy, Patterson will be honored on final day of meeting
COLUMBUS – Ohio’s educational and advocacy organization dedicated to family farming will tackle several hot button issues in Ohio during its 81st annual convention in Columbus this Friday.
“We expect 2015 to be an exceptionally important year for Ohio’s farmers in terms of state legislation and Kasich administration tax policies,” said Linda Borton, executive director of the Ohio Farmers Union.
“Farmers in Ohio are facing additional regulation with manure application and they are already feeling the effects of agricultural property taxes increasing by 50 to 300 percent in the past couple of years,” Borton said.
“Those two items – water quality and the broken CAUV formula – will be major points of emphasis for our policy committee,” Borton said.
CAUV, or Current Agricultural Use Valuation, is a state tax formula instituted in the 1970s to help protect Ohio farmland by lowering the property tax bills for farmland. The program is responsible for keeping much of Ohio’s agricultural lands in production as the lower property tax rates do not skew the farmers’ cost of production, especially in areas where rural land is threatened by urban sprawl and suburban development.
Due to changes in commodity markets and the effects of a changing larger economy, over the past two to three years, the formula used by the Ohio Dept. of Taxation for determining a farmer’s CAUV tax value has begun to wildly fluctuate. In many cases across the state, family farmers have seen their farmland property taxes rise by 300 percent or more in a single year.
Borton said that on the water quality front, OFU is expected to adopt policy for 2015 urging the Ohio General Assembly to take a “science-based and targeted” approach to new regulation. During the debate over H.B. 490 in 2014, OFU President Joe Logan and other members asked the Ohio House to limit tighter regulatory schemes to distressed watershed areas such as the Maumee River Basin in northwest Ohio.
“No one wants to see the algae problems we’ve had in Lake Erie and in other waterways,” Borton said.
“The key is for regulation to be fair, fact-based and targeted,” Borton added.