Staff met with tax experts, lawyers, appraisers, local and state government officials and farmers before making recommendations to Ohio Tax Commissioner Joseph W. Testa and the Ohio General Assembly on how the CAUV program could be improved and modernized.
OFBF’s set of CAUV recommendations resulted in action. The tax department asked its agricultural advisory committee to study the recommendations and submit comments in preparation for a special CAUV meeting to be held in January, said Leah Curtis, Ohio Farm Bureau’s director of agricultural law.
“We reached out to them to express some of the concerns that we have heard out in the field from members and from a survey we did in October,” she said. “CAUV is an issue that we are always reviewing and evaluating to ensure farmland is accurately valued. With the recent drastic tax bill increases, we have intensified our examination of CAUV.”
Specifically, Ohio Farm Bureau made recommendations to change the CAUV formula to:
• More closely tie tax values to current economic conditions in agriculture.
• Include more recent data on crop mix, prices, yields and production costs.
• Better represent the true value of woodlands compared to cropland.
If enacted, the changes would be implemented for 2015 values and affect taxes paid in 2016 and beyond.
These efforts reflect existing OFBF policy. During OFBF’s annual meeting, delegates also adopted new policies expressing that Ohio Farm Bureau needs to continue to explore adjustments aimed at reducing volatility in valuation and addressing variations in agriculture across Ohio. OFBF expects to make further recommendations regarding CAUV in response to these new policies.
Relevant Ohio Farm Bureau CAUV policies:
• We encourage OFBF to help protect CAUV in Ohio and to promote the integrity of the program by supporting the enforcement of its standards.
• We encourage that the CAUV formula be thoroughly reviewed to ensure that data used in the calculation is recent, relevant, and reflective of Ohio’s agricultural economy.
• We encourage that a study be done to more accurately reflect woodland values in CAUV.
• We encourage that a study be done to determine whether the capitalization rate used in the CAUV formula is accurate.
New CAUV policies adopted at 2014 annual meeting
• Efforts should be made to reduce volatility in valuation.
• OFBF should investigate the use of regional cropping patterns, and the inclusion of forage or pasture in the CAUV calculation to better address the variation of agriculture across the state of Ohio.