OFBF testifies about CAUV; tax department implements changes to formula

OFBF testifies about CAUV; tax department implements changes to formula

With the Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) rates for 2015 expected to be released in a couple of weeks, Ohio Farm Bureau was asked to testify about CAUV and describe its latest set of recommendations for changes to the formula.

Ohio Farm Bureau staff appeared before the House Agriculture and Rural Development committee to describe the organization’s efforts in reviewing and recommending changes to the CAUV calculation and program. Brandon Kern, OFBF’s director of state policy, told legislators Ohio Farm Bureau has undertaken a “deep dive” into the details of the calculation to ensure CAUV values are accurate and fair for landowners.

Legislators were particularly interested in how Farm Bureau’s recommendations would fit within the constitutional requirements for property taxes and CAUV. OFBF’s continued research has focused on this issue to ensure all recommendations fit within the constitutional framework required for CAUV and all property taxes as well.

Rep. John Patterson, D-Jefferson, said CAUV had been “a great concern” in his district and he appreciates the work Ohio Farm Bureau has done to make the CAUV formula more accurate.

Also this week, the Ohio Department of Taxation held its annual hearing to discuss proposed CAUV values for tax year 2015. These values will be applied to counties that are in reappraisal or update in 2015 on tax bills received in January 2016. Ohio Farm Bureau was pleased to see the tax department has officially implemented Farm Bureau’s first set of recommended changes to the CAUV calculation that were made in November 2014. The full list of soil values will be officially released sometime in June.

In the sample calculations provided by the tax department, the initial changes recommended by OFBF reduced the previously projected 2015 average value by approximately 20 percent. However, CAUV values, and in response property taxes, will still increase for those counties on the 2015 reappraisal. Ohio Farm Bureau’s second set of recommendations made earlier this month were not implemented, but Farm Bureau staff did again highlight those during the comment period at the meeting. Ohio Farm Bureau will continue to push for these additional changes to ensure the accuracy of CAUV values.