Senate passes reforms designed to ease tax burden for Ohio farmers


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COLUMBUS—State Senator Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) announced Wednesday the passage of legislation which would update the way agricultural property values are calculated in order to alleviate a heavy tax burden on Ohio’s farmers.

“This proposal is an important step in addressing tax inequities for farmers and provides more incentive for them to implement meaningful conservation practices that help protect Ohio’s water supply,” said Peterson.

The proposal modifies the Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV) formula, which determines the value of farmland for property taxation purposes, and aims to set a more realistic and stable expectation of taxes owed by farmers, according to Peterson. Commodity prices dropped significantly in the last several years while the CAUV formula sent farm property assessments skyrocketing, putting many farming businesses in jeopardy. Recent farmland property taxes have increased by as much as 300 percent in some areas of the state.

Senate Bill 36 also recognizes the efforts Ohio farmers have made in protecting the state’s water supply. For farms setting aside acreage for conservation efforts, the new CAUV policy will ensure the lowest taxable level on that land, according to Peterson.

CAUV is a property tax relief program for agricultural land in Ohio. It is the result of a voter referendum from 1973 that allows farmland to be taxed according to its agricultural value, as apposed to full market value. This program is considered a “differential assessment,” a type of tax relief used for agricultural lands in the United States.

Senate Bill 36, co-sponsored by Sen. Peterson, now moves to the Ohio House for further consideration.

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