Conservation a key component for CAUV reform

The state budget has to be signed into law by Gov John Kasich June 30, and Ohio Farm Bureau’s top priority issue – changes to the Current Agricultural Use Value formula – is slated to be a part of it.

There were three main components being asked for via this reform legislation – one of the key ones focusing on conservation.

Currently, farmers are discouraged from idling land for conservation because it is taxed as though it is producing crops. The reforms asked for stipulated that CAUV land used for a conservation practice, or enrolled in a federal land retirement or conservation program for at least three years, be valued at the lowest of the values assigned on the basis of soil type.

Farm Bureau believes taxing conservation lands at the CAUV minimum value is appropriate because those lands are nonproducing.

“Since Ohio’s farmers are committed to being great stewards of the land and environment, working to remove the tax penalty for placing land in conservation was important for our members,” said Jenna Beadle, OFBF director of state policy. “Farmers are trying to do the right thing and our tax policy should be supportive of their efforts.”

Farm Bureau also asked that land be taxed accurately on its agricultural value by using the U.S. Department of Agriculture equity rate instead of the one in the current formula. Farmland has seen a nearly 300 percent increase on average in taxable value in recent years.

Farm Bureau also asked the legislature to address the nonfarm factors in the formula to ensure it accurately represents the realities of the agriculture economy