Because of the efforts of Ohio Farm Bureau members, lawmakers have heard the message that Ohio’s Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) formula needs to be reformed. The organization will use that momentum to continue working for CAUV reform as the new General Assembly convenes in mid-January.
In the past several weeks, Farm Bureau members placed phone calls to their lawmakers and shared personal stories about their skyrocketing property tax bills while seeking changes to the CAUV formula. Farmers also hosted their representatives for “coffee on the farm,” which gave members a platform to speak to state leaders face-to-face. Members even stopped to talk to their representatives on the streets in their hometowns. It made an impact.
“Farm Bureau members have been very successful with this grassroots effort,” said Rep. Brian Hill (R – Zanesville). The Chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee added, “I have had legislators call me in the past couple of weeks to talk about CAUV who have never talked to me about it until now. You all should be very proud of your work.”
Under CAUV, land is taxed on its agricultural value rather than its market value. Farmland taxes have increased as much as 300 percent over the past six years, in part due to nonfarm factors within the formula. Additionally, the program makes it costly for farmers to adopt conservation practices that protect water quality. Farm Bureau has been promoting legislation that would address these concerns.
Because the legislature did not act on CAUV reform legislation during the lame duck session, this will remain a Farm Bureau priority in 2017.
OFBF Vice President of Public Policy, Yvonne Lesicko, said, “With nearly a quarter of elected officials new to the General Assembly next year, we’ll have the opportunity to educate new lawmakers about the impact CAUV has on our members.”
Lesicko said she’s proud of what members have accomplished so far.
“This is the strongest grassroots effort we have had in a long time and it has not gone unnoticed. This momentum will be important as we continue discussions with the House, Senate and administration on solutions for CAUV reform,” she said.