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Better targeting of Agriculture Real Property Tax Exemptions

These are vital to farmers, who bear huge costs in property taxes. But, they are poorly targeted-- the fact that poorer quality soil rates a higher exemption means that, often, non-farming rural landowners benefit much more than farmers. Some surely have their land hayed by farmers for relatively useless poor quality hay in a scam-like scheme to "farm the government." Often, the low-quality hay is not even taken off the fields... but taxes are exempted. This is particularly profitable for large landowners in high-tax (read: very wealthy) suburban locations. Fine to preserve farmland-- but do it outright, not by giving estate owners a tax break.

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Submitted by krys.cail 5 years ago

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  1. This is incredibly important and you have stated the problem very well. The Ag. Assessment program (see Secs. 305 & 306 of the Ag. & Mkts. Law) is being abused by very many very wealthy people, and the allowance of rental arrangements probably results in some of the most egregious abuse. However, also note that $10K gross sales requirement for "farmers" qualifying in their own right was set when the Ag. Districts Law was enacted back in 1971. To have the same meaning that the program founders intended back, that $10K should probably be something like $40K today. Folks would be shocked to see some of the properties currently having the land component taxed at such miniscule levels under this program, especially the palatial private residential retreats with ample acreage in very pricey areas of this state.

    5 years ago