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Ohio Senate passes CAUV reform bill

Ohio Farm Bureau applauds the Ohio Senate for its overwhelming support of SB 36. CAUV reform has been a top priority for OFBF, and the strong action taken by the Ohio Senate to pass Senate Bill 36 has moved that priority for reform much closer to becoming reality. With the unanimous passage of SB 36, the Ohio Senate has taken a much needed step to help farmers who have been subjected to extraordinary property tax increases. By reforming the Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) formula, the bill will bring relief to family farmers who have seen farmland property taxes increase by more than 300 percent in recent years. These increases have come at the same time that farm income has undergone the second largest drop since the Great Depression.

The Senate amended SB 36 to mirror the House’s language in HB 49, the state budget bill which passed May 2, indicating their mutual support for the CAUV reforms for which OFBF has advocated. The bill will change the equity rate in the CAUV formula to be connected to the USDA farm equity rate and increase holding period assumptions to match the farm economy. These changes will ensure all the components of the capitalization rate are connected directly to the farm economy. The bill also places year-round conservation lands at the minimum value ensuring farmers are not penalized for adopting conservation practices that protect water quality. The only difference between the two proposals is the timeline on which the reforms are implemented; SB 36 would take effect in a standard three-year re-evaluation cycle, and HB 49’s CAUV language would be implemented over two re-evaluation cycles.

Ohio Farm Bureau appreciates the Senate’s attention to the the single most burdensome issue for farmers and landowners. We will continue to work with the Senate and House as they complete their efforts to reform the CAUV formula and be supportive of all pathways forward.

Please contact your state senator and thank him or her for their efforts in SB 36 and ask that they also support CAUV reform when it comes through the state budget.