Property tax bills are reaching mailboxes again, and in counties reassessed in 2017 landowners are already seeing the impacts of CAUV reform. Those counties are seeing a 30 percent decrease in their land values and similar decreases in their taxes, to the tune of thousands of dollars. The task that was before us at this time last year could not be overstated, but the power of Ohio Farm Bureau members once again proved to win the day.
Victories like CAUV reform can only happen with the collective strength of our membership. There is no doubt that these reforms would not have happened without the work of Ohio Farm Bureau. Now is the time to take advantage of those reform efforts.
This video explains the next steps for landowners. You can use it and the discussion guide below to assist in explaining the important value of Ohio Farm Bureau’s work.
CAUV Reform Impacts
The 41 counties on the 2017 reappraisal/update have now received updated tax bills with their new CAUV values. Some things to remember about CAUV reform:
- The CAUV reform impacts the CAUV VALUE. The landowner should look for the value that is labeled “CAUV Value” to see the effects of OFBF’s work and compare that to last year’s “CAUV Value.”
- Values dropped 30 percent on average from the 2014 values these taxpayers have had for the last three years.
The impact of taxes will vary significantly from taxing district to district:
- Many districts saw residential and building values increase. This will counteract the savings from CAUV but is not necessarily a result of CAUV reform. Landowners can compare the value of “improvements” on their tax bill to see how those have changed.
- For example, farmers have seen significant decreases in their taxes on farm ground that does not have any buildings. However, they see less of a decrease on land that is both farm ground and buildings. In addition, home values have typically gone up in value across the state as well and some districts may have voted in new levies.
- Ohio Farm Bureau does not give a specific number of dollar decrease because every district is very unique in how the final decrease in taxes paid will result.
CAUV reform is implemented on the three-year reappraisal/update schedule. This was necessary to ensure that the new provisions complied with requirements imposed by the Ohio Constitution on property tax laws.
OFBF Issue Updates: What Happened in CAUV Reform and What is the Result
CAUV reform has been a priority issue for OFBF for more than three years. What did it take to make it happen, and what are the results?
New CAUV Forms
- Example: How many acres in row crops? How many acres in Federal Conservation Programs?
While we understand this is more extensive than required in the past, this is within the information the auditor is allowed to ask to ensure you qualify for CAUV enrollment, and is in part fulfilling the duty the auditor has to inspect properties each year to ensure they qualify.
Under CAUV reform, conservation lands are valued at the minimum CAUV value of $230/acre. Landowners must also provide additional information to the auditor to receive this lowered conservation value.
For Federal Conservation Program Land: The landowner must provide a map showing where the conservation land is located and a copy of the contract. These are mostly lands in programs like CRP, WRP and CREP.
- It is understandable some people may have concerns about providing a contract. Ohio Farm Bureau will be discussing with the auditors the privacy concerns some have raised. However, auditors only need to know the contract is in force, so landowners may be able to redact information like the rate if they have concerns.
For Conservation Practice Land (up to 25 percent of total acreage): The landowner must provide a map showing where the conservation practice is located. Landowners should also identify what the practice is, so the auditor can verify that it meets the requirements of the law.
- Since 2006, CAUV qualifications have allowed up to 25 percent of total acreage to be in conservation practices without enrolling in a federal program. These are the lands called “conservation practice land” and would be things like buffer strips or grass waterways that may have been constructed outside of a federal contract.
- Maps can typically be obtained from the Farm Service Agency and Natural Resource Conservation Office. Auditors may also be able to assist with providing GIS maps from their systems if the landowner is otherwise unable to retrieve it.
If you receive the lowered conservation value, the land must remain in the practice for at least 36 months. If the practice is removed before 36 months, the landowner will be liable for recoupment equal to the difference between the conservation value and the actual CAUV soil value.
Remember, landowners in 2017 reappraisal/update counties need to amend their CAUV filings from last year by March to receive this lowered value for taxes they pay in 2018. Landowners should speak with their auditor as to how this will be handled in each county. Landowners in 2018/2019 reappraisal/update counties should begin certifying this acreage now, but the Tax Department has advised auditors that they cannot make the change to conservation value until the next reappraisal or update.
OFBF Issue Updates: Conservation changes through CAUV
New CAUV legislation affects how land in conservation is valued.
OFBF Issue Updates: Expectations for 2018/2019 CAUV Reappraisals
CAUV reassessment is being phased in over three years across the state. Learn why and when you might see a change in your valuation.