Continuing to be a leader in addressing concerns about CAUV, Ohio Farm Bureau pushed for changes to the CAUV formula to help stem increases and improve the accuracy of its calculation. The Ohio Department of Taxation accepted the first set of OFBF’s recommended changes, resulting in an approximate 15 percent reduction in cropland value. The state legislature is currently considering bills that address Farm Bureau’s second set of recommendations. OFBF held numerous informational CAUV meetings for members throughout the state.
State Issues 1, 2, 3
OFBF’s “Yes, Yes, No” state ballot campaign was a success largely because of the grassroots efforts by members who put out signs and talked to voters in person and through social media. The ballot campaign results reflect good government policies that are favorable to all Ohioans.
Grain Storage Bin Ruling
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled grain storage bins are personal property and can’t be taxed as real property. The ruling creates a uniform system of real estate taxation of grain storage bins and will save farmers money. OFBF filed an amicus curiae brief supporting the case.
OFBF sponsored 91 meetings that reached 6,579 individuals to provide training and information on renewable energy project development, energy aggregation programs, electric transmission and pipeline easements. Staff answered over 900 calls for assistance concerning energy leases, easements and utility access issues.
Water Quality and Resources
Ohio Farm Bureau addressed many water quality issues this year as part of its $1 million water quality action plan.
Among the highlights:
- After meeting for 1 ½ years, the Healthy Water Ohio coalition, with OFBF’s leadership, released its strategic plan for maintaining and strengthening the state’s water resources.
- County Farm Bureaus received $140,000 in funding from OFBF for local water quality projects with partnering organizations contributing more than $264,000.
- OFBF helped create and support workable nutrient management laws in Ohio (Senate Bill 1 and Senate Bill 150) and secured funding in the state budget and worked with the state treasurer’s office to pass an expansion of the low-interest Ag-Link program to help farmers comply with the new laws. The new program will provide farmers with up to $15,000 in savings through its interest rate reduction benefit.
- Ohio Farm Bureau collaborated with Ohio State University and other partners to fund a project that establishes a team of nutrient management experts to help Western Lake Erie Basin farmers develop nutrient management plans that exceed state requirements.
- In collaboration with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and others, OFBF is establishing a network of demonstration farms that will display proven conservation practices and innovative technologies that can achieve sustainable, environmentally responsible food production.
- Farm Bureau continued to be a leader in the effort to stop the U.S. EPA from implementing the controversial “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule.