COLUMBUS—State Senator Frank LaRose (R-Hudson) announced the passage of legislation today aimed at updating the way agricultural property values are calculated in order to alleviate the heavy financial burden on Ohio’s farmers.
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. 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.
“Farming is Ohio’s oldest business and still today agriculture is Ohio’s largest industry,” said LaRose. “This commonsense reform will ensure that Ohio’s farm families can stay on their land and continue to grow their businesses while simultaneously growing the crops and livestock which feed America and the world.”
Farmland taxes have been increasing at substantial rates over the last several years, and Senate Bill 36 ensures that the taxes paid by farmers are more closely tied to the income producing potential of the land.
The bill removes two factors from the existing CAUV formula, land value appreciation and equity buildup, which arbitrarily inflate the value of farmland based on market considerations. The bill also removes disincentives from engaging in certain conservation practices by requiring land used for conservation practices to be valued at the CAUV’s minimum value.
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 opposed to full market value. This program is considered a “differential assessment,” a type of tax relief used for agriculture in the United States.
Senate Bill 36, co-sponsored by Senator LaRose, now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration.