Clinton_County_Farmland

Ohio Farm Bureau seeks CAUV appeals process for landowners

Ohio Farm Bureau has asked the Ohio Supreme Court to rule landowners should be allowed to question their Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) values and how the tax commissioner sets them.

“Landowners in the CAUV program are the only taxpaying property owners without the ability to address the valuation method used to determine their property value,” OFBF said in an amicus brief filed in a case where woodland owners challenged the Ohio Department of Taxation’s woodland deductions.

The law states landowners can appeal their property value with local Boards of Revision but the boards typically dismiss CAUV complaints based on value, often saying they don’t have jurisdiction. The Board of Tax Appeals also has refused to hear landowners’ appeals, creating a situation in which “CAUV landowners are chilled from even considering an appeal of their property values,” OFBF said.

Ohio Farm Bureau asked the high court to determine that the Board of Tax Appeals has jurisdiction, which would give landowners the opportunity to question the method of valuing their properties or soil values. The court is not expected to hear the case until late fall.

2016 CAUV values set
In June, the Ohio Department of Taxation held its annual public hearing to set final CAUV values. Once again, Ohio Farm Bureau staff detailed concerns and recommendations about the CAUV calculation, including the capitalization rate calculation, use of non-farm factors, conservation land uses and woodland deductions. Unfortunately, the tax department did not make any further changes to the CAUV formula.

This year 23 counties will be reappraised or updated and they will see an increase of between 15 percent and 25 percent in CAUV value for cropland since their 2013 revaluation. The change in woodland values will range from about a 15 percent decrease to a 10 percent increase. Minimum values remain unchanged from 2013.

On a year-to-year basis, the average cropland soil value has been reduced by approximately 20 percent from the peak in 2014 and about 6 percent from 2015. As always, the change in value does not correlate directly to the amount of property tax increase, but similar increases in taxes should be anticipated.

Farm Bureau seeking farmers willing to share receipts
The tax department said it may consider changes in woodland deductions for the 2017 tax year if it receives more information about woodland clearing and drainage costs. OFBF would like to compile receipts from members who have cleared or drained land in the last three years. Those who are willing to share those receipts (with private information redacted) should contact OFBF Director of Agricultural Law Leah Curtis at 614-246-8912 or [email protected].

Amy Graves 

Amy Graves is a communications specialist for Ohio Farm Bureau.