The New York Farm Bureau’s efforts to cap rising agricultural property taxes are gaining legislative momentum.
While Governor Andrew Cuomo touts his business-boosting Tax Free New York proposal, the state's farmers are thirsting for relief: 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.
The Farm Bureau is pushing for a 2 percent per year cap on agricultural land assessments, which have routinely hit the existing 10% cap. A 2 percent cap on residential property taxes by municipalities was passed in 2011 after years of effort, primarily by Senate Republicans.
Last Thursday the bill to establish the agricultural property cap passed though the GOP-controlled Senate unanimously and passed out of the Assembly Agricultural Committee on Tuesday.
There is optimism that the bill lowering the cap on farmland assessment increases approved in the state Senate will pass in the Assembly before the end of the session. Farm Bureau President Dean Norton is confident legislative relief for farmers is near.
Norton points out that the Farm Bureau is thinking ahead, advocating for the establishment of a working group comprised of stakeholders and experts to address the long term problem of agricultural assessment valuation.