WAMC News, North Country News
12:10 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

New York Senate Approves Agricultural Assessment Cap

The New York State Senate has voted to cap property tax assessments on farm lands.

In a unanimous, bipartisan vote the New York State Senate passed legislation that will cap agricultural assessments at 2-percent from the previous year.  The New York Farm Bureau says many farmers have seen large increases in their property tax bills this year and by next year, it’s estimated that assessed land values will nearly double per acre from five years ago. New York Farm Bureau Spokesman Steve Ammerman says for farmers to stay in business they need a lower assessment on their  agricultural lands.
 
Essex County Farm Bureau President Erik Leerkes says farmers in certain areas of the state may need the cap more than other areas, but he feels more than a cap is needed to help agriculture.

The Farm Bureau’s Steve Ammerman says the tax cap would only be a stop gap because it doesn’t address the problem of rising assessments.

As New York State works on agricultural property taxes, the U.S. Senate agreed to move forward this week with the federal Farm Bill.  Northeast Dairy Farmers Cooperatives Senior Dairy Policy Advisor Bob Gray feels the dairy title in the legislation will be very good for Northeast farmers.

Gray expects final passage of the Farm Bill in the Senate today with movement then into the House.  The property tax cap voted on by the New York State Senate has not been acted on in the New York State Assembly.