CAUV in Ohio and conservation practices

Current Agricultural Use Value, or CAUV, is a program where farmland is taxed at a rate that reflects its value for agricultural purposes instead of its value as development property. It was enacted by Ohio voters in 1973 as a means to preserve farmland.

Q: Conservation practices were not always considered in CAUV value. When did this change take place and why?

A: In 2017, Ohio Farm Bureau worked on significant CAUV reforms, and recognizing the importance and value of conservation was one aspect of that reform. Prior to this, land used for conservation was valued as if it was productive cropland. Today, land in conservation programs or private conservation practices can be eligible for a lowered valuation instead of its productive cropland value.

Q: What types of conservation practices are eligible for CAUV?

A: Any land that is in a federal conservation program can qualify for CAUV. In addition to that, up to 25% of the land can be used for private conservation practices that are used to abate soil erosion. This could include things like wetlands, buffer strips and grass waterways. Landowners do need to identify the conservation practice on their enrollment forms, and will need to provide maps showing where conservation program land or practices are in place.

Q: What kind of savings can farmers who take the time to include those conservation practices in their CAUV enrollment or renewals expect to see?

A: The savings they would see by certifying their conservation acreage will largely depend on the soil type in the area where the conservation practice is installed. But, as an example, the most common soil type in the state is Miami Silt Loam, and in 2023 it was valued at $2,340 per acre. If there was a conservation practice where that soil type was and it was properly qualified with the auditor, it would instead be valued at $230 per acre. That’s about a 90% reduction in value, which will be reflected in the taxes for that piece of ground.

Q: How long must these practices be in place, and is there a penalty if they do not remain in place?

A: If a landowner receives the lower conservation value, then the practices or conservation program enrollment needs to stay in place for 36 months. If they do not maintain that use for at least 36 months, they will pay back the difference in taxes between the lower conservation value and the actual CAUV soil type value.

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
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Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
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Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
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Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
The plan we are on is great. It’s comparable to my previous job's plan, and we are a sole proprietor.
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Kevin Holy

Geauga County Farm Bureau

Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan
We work terrifically with the Ashtabula County Farm Bureau, hosting at least one to two outreach town hall events every year to educate new farmers and existing farmers on traditional CAUV and woodlands.
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David Thomas

Ashtabula County Auditor

CAUV: Past, present and future
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
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Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
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Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Advocacy
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