Issues like former prison farms to be dealt with in Senate
For the past several years farmers in Ohio have seen skyrocketing farmland property tax increases – that could be coming to an end with Ohio’s next state budget.
“We’ve had a couple days to review what the Ohio House is proposing and consider whether we can be fully supportive,” said Joe Logan, President of the Ohio Farmers Union.
“We’ve sought relief from the Ohio Dept. of Taxation for years with little relief, but finally our elected representatives are responding to the desperate cries of Ohio’s family farmers,” Logan said.
Ron Sylvester, OFU external relations director said Tuesday that the family farm organization is asking members to contact state representatives and express support for House passage of the state budget bill.
“We are concerned about the Administration’s and some legislators’ desire to work outside of normal open and competitive bidding processes to sell the thousands of acres formally farmed by the Ohio Dept. of Corrections,” Sylvester said.
“We do want the budget to pass the House this week and we’ll try to learn more about state leaders’ decision-making on these public lands in the Senate,” Sylvester said.
Ted Finnarn, OFU attorney and 41-year member of the Ohio Dept. of Taxation’s Agricultural Advisory Committee said what the House is proposing “will return the CAUV calculations to more reasonable values and allow conservation acres to be taxed at lower rates since these acres do not produce any crops.”
“The interest-capitalization rate used in the formula will be modified to lessen the influence of non-farm factors by increasing the holding period from five to 25 years,” said Finnarn. “These changes, resulting in lower CAUV values, will be phased in over two re-evaluation cycles (6years), so that they do not cause any dramatic impacts to local governments and schools.”
Ohio’s farmers have experienced farmland property tax increases reaching 300 percent in each of their past two to three triennial Current Agricultural Use Valuations. While the CAUV formula is complicated, one component, has been adversely affected by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s near zero interest rates – so-called quantitative easing – which lasted for years after the official end of the last recession.
CAUV was instituted so that agricultural land would be taxed at its “use” value and not it’s real estate development value. CAUV helps keeps farms in production and cuts down on unnecessary urban sprawl.