Tuesday, June 18, 2013

NYS Assembly Passes Agricultural Land Assessment Cap Bill

Dean Norton
News from New York Farm Bureau:

Farmers in this state just received a big boost to help contain rising property taxes, with the state Assembly's unanimous passage of a bill that will cap agricultural land assessment increases at 2 percent a year.

The state Senate already has passed the legislation. The bill now goes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his signature.

This bill has been a top priority for New York Farm Bureau this legislative session.There has been great concern among our farmer members who have seen rising land values push up property tax bills for farmland in recent years, essentially doubling since 2006.

Agricultural land assessments are dictated by a complicated formula that takes into account national production value statistics and soil type.Currently, New York farmers pay $38.41 per acre in property taxes, according to Farm Credit East. That is the second highest rate in the country and eats up 15 percent of a farm’s net income.  This puts farmers in this state at a clear competitive disadvantage.

“The passage of the 2 percent cap on agricultural assessments is welcomed news on farms all across New York," said New York Farm Bureau President Dean Norton. "Not one has been immune to the skyrocketing property taxes that make it more difficult to provide local food and products to their communities. ... We are hopeful Governor Cuomo will sign off on the legislation that will go a long way to keep New York families on their farms.”

While the legislation will address the immediate needs of farmers, New York Farm Bureau also is advocating for the establishment of a working group comprised of stakeholders and experts to address the long term problem of agricultural assessment valuation.

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