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Ohio Farm Bureau proposes improvements to farmland tax rules

For Immediate Release

November 13, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (OFBF) – Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) has presented its official recommendations to the Ohio General Assembly and Ohio Tax Commissioner Joseph W. Testa that will improve and modernize the Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) program.

Under CAUV, farmland is taxed on its agricultural productivity rather than its development value.

“There are a lot of farmers and landowners facing huge increases in their tax bills at the same time their incomes have fallen drastically,” said John C. (Jack) Fisher, Ohio Farm Bureau’s executive vice president.

Because Farm Bureau is the leading resource of information for landowners, county auditors and members of the General Assembly, the organization constantly reviews and evaluates the CAUV formula to ensure that farmland is being accurately valued. The process intensified this year.

“Our primary goal is preserving the integrity of the CAUV program,” Fisher said. “But we also know there are areas where the CAUV formula could be modernized and improved.”

Following extensive research and meetings with tax experts, state and local tax officials, accountants, attorneys, appraisers, farmers, landowners and other stakeholders, Farm Bureau identified and recommended a number of specific adjustments to the formula that will improve and strengthen the program. The changes, when enacted, would be implemented for 2015 values and affect taxes paid in 2016 and beyond.

OFBF gave detailed recommendations to change the CAUV formula to:

1.) More closely tie tax values to current economic conditions in agriculture.

2.) Include more recent data on crop mix, prices, yields and production costs.

3.) Better represent the true value of woodlands compared to cropland.

These recommendations, when enacted, will more accurately value farmland and provide a more stable, predictable tax amount for landowners to plan for in the future, Fisher said. “Most of all, we will maintain the integrity of the CAUV program, which for more than 40 years has been an excellent tool for preserving farmland through fair landowner taxation.”

OFBF’s recommendations can be accomplished through administrative action and will not require legislation.

OFBF is continuing to research additional improvements to the formula and is working through its grassroots policy development process where members will analyze and debate tax policy issues such as CAUV. “We anticipate that further recommendations will surface through our ongoing policy development process,” Fisher said.

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CONTACT: Joe Cornely

PHONE: (614) 246-8230

E-MAIL: [email protected]

 

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