OFBF examining CAUV formula
COLUMBUS, Ohio (OFBF) – The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) is bringing together experts to intensify its examination of the complex formula used in calculating Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV). Many landowners have raised concerns as values are rising at the same time crop prices are falling. OFBF’s goal is to provide solutions to those concerns while preserving the integrity and purpose of the program. CAUV is designed to accurately value land as farm ground rather than as development property.
Forty-one counties underwent reappraisals and updates in 2014. Record high crop prices in preceding years combined with record low interest rates have created significant spikes in values under CAUV. Farmers in other counties experienced similar increases in 2012 and 2013.
“The CAUV program has worked very well over the past 40 years and is a program that must be preserved. While the recent increases in values have been anticipated, it doesn’t make them easier to stomach, especially at a time when crop prices are declining,” said Jack Fisher, OFBF executive vice president.
The challenge is how to address the factors that have caused today’s drastic increases in taxes while ensuring that the aspects of this program that have contributed to its long-standing usefulness to farmers remain intact. Farm Bureau is working to make sure that any changes will consider both short and long-term ramifications.
During its September meeting, OFBF’s state policy development committee talked extensively about the CAUV formula and heard presentations from three other state Farm Bureaus on how their states’ agricultural property tax programs are conducted and calculated. OFBF’s board of trustees plans to address CAUV during its October meeting.
In addition, Farm Bureau members are encouraged to provide additional data about their situations and suggestions for changes to the formula by completing an online CAUV survey at ofbf.org. The survey must be completed by Oct. 31.
The accumulated information will be used in the state policy development session in November to formulate policy proposals for consideration at OFBF’s annual meeting in December.
Over the past year, Ohio Farm Bureau has conducted more than 20 informational meetings and webinars statewide to help members understand the CAUV formula and the reasons for recent increases.
Additionally, Ohio Farm Bureau has reached out to lawmakers who have been hearing concerns from constituents about rising property taxes on farmland. OFBF conducted a CAUV educational session for members of the Ohio General Assembly and their staffs, met individually with numerous legislators and sent a letter to all lawmakers this month making them aware of the organization’s research and seeking their input for possible improvements.