OFBF Legal Fund
While many of our members are most familiar with our legislative advocacy, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation also frequently engages in legal advocacy on behalf of its members. Every day, staff attorneys monitor legal actions and decisions from across the state and country to determine the possible impacts on members. In many cases, OFBF becomes involved in those legal actions on behalf of the membership to ensure the court is aware of the organization’s policy and the ramifications these cases could have on Ohio farmers. In recent years, OFBF’s legal advocacy has resulted in important decisions such as:
- Removing property taxes on non-permanent structures such as metal grain bins, Metamora Elevator Co. v. Fulton County Board of Revision.
- Ensuring CAUV landowners can appeal the Tax Department’s values at the Board of Tax Appeals, Adams v. Testa.
- Fighting for compensation for property owners whose land is taken by the government, State ex rel. Doner v. Zody, State ex rel. Merrill v. ODNR.
Most recently, OFBF had a huge victory for Ohio property owners when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that landowners may file their takings claims directly in federal court, instead of only using state court procedures. OFBF had filed an amicus brief in this case and the U.S. Supreme Court opinion cited the very Ohio cases that OFBF’s brief rested upon. (Knick v. Township of Scott, PA,
No. 17-647, at *7 (U.S. Jun. 21, 2019). An OFBF amicus brief was also directly cited by the Ohio Supreme Court in the case of State ex. rel. McGinn v. Walker, ensuring that an invalid county charter, which sought to provide rights to nature and could prohibit agriculture, would not be placed on the ballot. State ex rel. McGinn v. Walker, 151 Ohio St.3d 199, 2017-Ohio-7714 at ¶17.
Many members have asked how they could contribute to these legal actions over the years. Contributions will assist Farm Bureau in continuing these and other legal advocacy activities in the future.
Donations to the OFBF Legal Fund are not tax-deductible. Donations will fund legal actions and amicus briefs filed by OFBF. Legal restrictions limit OFBF’s ability to pay legal fees incurred by individual litigants.