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Topic: Taxes



Legislature Passes 2% Ag Cap Bill


Farmers in this state just received a big boost to help contain rising property taxes. The Assembly followed up the Senate’s action by unanimously passing a bill that will cap agricultural land assessment increases at 2% a year. This has been a top priority for New York Farm Bureau this legislative session. There has been great concern among our farmer members who have seen rising land values push up property tax bills for farmland in recent years, essentially doubling since 2006.


Agricultural land assessments are dictated by a complicated formula that takes into account national production value statistics and soil type. Currently, New York farmers pay $38.41 per acre in property taxes, according to Farm Credit East. That is the second highest rate in the country and eats up 15% of a farm’s net income. This puts farmers in this state at a clear competitive disadvantage.


“The passage of the 2% cap on agricultural assessments is welcomed news on farms all across New York. Not one has been immune to the skyrocketing property taxes that make it more difficult to provide local food and products to their communities. We commend the Agriculture Committee Chairs, Senator Patty Ritchie and Assemblyman Bill Magee, for ushering this bill through their respective houses, and we are hopeful Governor Cuomo will sign off on the legislation that will go a long way to keep New York families on their farms,” said Dean Norton, President of New York Farm Bureau.


"Land taxes are crushing farmers, threatening to drive many right out of business, and making it harder to keep generations-old farms in the family," said Senate Agriculture Chair Patty Ritchie.
"That's why I've sponsored and passed this bill two years in a row, and why the Senate made reform a key part of our "Grown in New York" agriculture plan this year."

“Passage of the assessment tax cap legislation will no doubt help to keep family farms in New York while maintaining the nutritious, high quality local food network that the State's consumers expect. I would like to especially thank my colleagues from both upstate and downstate who understand the significance of this bill, and how it will help grow New York agriculture,” said Assembly Agriculture Chair Bill Magee (D-Nelson). “New York Farmers have seen alarming increases in their property taxes for farmland, and this bill addresses that.”
While the legislation will address the immediate needs of farmers, New York Farm Bureau is also advocating for the establishment of a working group comprised of stakeholders and experts to address the long term problem of agricultural assessment valuation.