Buckeye Farm News
Ohio Farm Bureau’s proposed changes to the state’s Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) formula will be examined during a special meeting by the Ohio Department of Taxation’s agricultural advisory committee.
In November, OFBF submitted proposals for improving and modernizing the CAUV formula to Tax Commissioner Joe Testa and the Ohio General Assembly. Under CAUV, farmland is taxed for its agricultural value rather than fair market value and acts as a strong farmland preservation program. OFBF’s proposals were forwarded to the tax department’s agricultural advisory committee for review, along with others. The committee scheduled a meeting March 5 to consider suggested changes to the CAUV formula. Normally the committee only meets in September and February.
OFBF constantly reviews and evaluates the CAUV program, and those efforts intensified last year when Ohio residents started receiving very large tax bill increases. Before making recommendations for changes in the CAUV formula, Ohio Farm Bureau staff members spent months meeting with tax experts, attorneys, appraisers, farmers and local and state government officials. While the goal is to accomplish the changes through administrative action, OFBF has been meeting with legislators who need more information about the issue and are seeking solutions.
Ohio Farm Bureau has been holding informational meetings for members about CAUV, which has received a lot of coverage in the media statewide. OFBF continues to collect additional ideas for improving and modernizing the CAUV program and welcomes suggestions from members.
OFBF submitted the following CAUV program modification proposals to the tax department:
• More closely tie tax values to current economic conditions in agriculture, specifically to change from a 15-year to a 25- to 30-year mortgage term and to change from a 60/40 debt/equity split to an 80/20.
• 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. Farm Bureau staff also are developing more CAUV recommendations in response to policy passed by delegates at the 2014 annual meeting. See more details in the April Buckeye Farm News.