DARKE COUNTY — Calling all Ohio farmers, farmland owners, woodland owners, conservationists and preservationists to an informative meeting on the issue of farmland preservation and the Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV) property taxation. Have you noticed an increase in your property taxes? Are they higher than you feel is affordable? Did you vote for this increase?
On Monday, Mar. 6 at 6:30 p.m., at the Old Arcana Restaurant, 109 George Street, Arcanum, Ohio, farmers and landowners will meet to learn about the intricacies of this form of taxation and discuss the processes available that would remedy the excessive cost to our rural citizens. There will be a dinner followed by several presentations and educational workshops.
Recently, CAUV values for rural property owners have sky-rocketed tremendously with increases as high as 200 to 600 percent, leading to a heavy and unwarranted tax burden switch onto the backs of Ohio farmers. We need to achieve CAUV values that are closer to the actual income-producing ability of Ohio farmland and thus realize the original purpose and policy of the CAUV law, which is to allow farmland owners to pay reasonable real estate taxes based on a farm’s “use” rather than its speculative fair market value.
Legislation recently re-introduced in the General Assembly seeks to correct these spikes in value and also provide that CAUV land used in a conservation practice, either state or federal program, would be valued at the lowest value assigned on the basis of soil type. This requirement would encourage farmers to engage in practices that protect the environment and water quality. Currently, under the CAUV rules, farmers are discouraged from participating in these programs because the farmland is taxed as though it is producing crops. The legislation would provide that conservation acres under CAUV would be valued at the minimum values used in the formula which would be appropriate because these lands are not producing any crops.
The meeting is sponsored by Ohio Farmers United, Ohio Farmers Union, NFO, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Ohio State Grange, Woodland and Forestry Farmers, Ohio Family Farm Center, Second National Bank, Crop Production Services, Seed Consultants, Inc., Merchants Bank of Indiana, and Finnarn Ag Law.