Eugene M Jennings Jr Billy R Kilgore Sr Carol D Roberts Thelma L Gray Sheriff Ellis meets President Trump Quarter Auction to pay for fire engine restoration Upcoming Quarter Raffle, Oct. 14 to benefit PRC Man found dead in ditch Rev Alvin B Woodruff Jackson L Russell Lady Broncos bring home 11th SBAAC American Division title in 12 years Lady Rockets wrap up regular season Warriors rally for win Broncos make it two in a row Helen L Whalen Veterans saluted at the Brown County Fair Fayetteville cancels school after threat Tommy J Stamper Sue Day Broncos move closer to SBAAC American Division title Lady G-Men working hard, showing improvement Sports complex soon to open in Mt. Orab Week 6 football roundup H Ray Warnock Jennings faces multiple sex offenses Georgetown nears water system completion Bible Baptist Barbeque brings big crowd Linda Taylor Rene Sizemore-Dahlheimer Eugene Snider Eric Workman Gregory Terry Edith M Moore Eileen Womacks Michael C Jennings Janice K Brunner Cheer squads compete at ‘Little State Fair’ Truck, tractor pulls draw a crowd at Brown County Fair Week 5 football roundup Lady Broncos rise to 11-6 with win over Batavia Broncos buck Clinton-Massie, Goshen James H Boyd Warren A Stanley Jane R Ernst Darrell F Anderson James W Ball Jr June R Paul Robert Kattine Tony W Ratliff Carroll G Boothby Sawyers details revealed in court filing Varnau loses appeal ruling on blocked Goldson investigation Sardinia to hold town hall on street repair “Senior Playground” under roof, to open soon Janet R Whitt Jacqualine Attinger L Mae Spencer Battle between Broncos, G-Men ends in tie SB Warriors rout Peebles, 60-0 Lady Jays celebrate first victory Lady Rockets on a roll Rockets cruise to 4-0 Broncos celebrate homecoming Sininger wraps up another outstanding regular season of high school golf Joan E Stevens Esther R Kennedy Myrtle Mays Sheriff Ellis deploys to Florida Sending gifts from home ABCAP Entrepreneurship Seminar G-Men win streak hits 5 Runners compete at Vern Hawkins XC Invite Lady G-Men stand at 3-2-2 SHAC play begins for Ripley golfers Week 3 football roundup Jays rise to 5-2 with win over Williamsburg Audrey F Staten Inmate housing options narrow Opiate addiction strains Municipal Court Lillian E Cowdrey Catherine A Houk Warriors win Jim Neu XC Invite Week 2 football roundup Broncos unbeaten at 4-0 Lady Broncos compete in Bob Schul XC Invite Ronnie L Day Nettie F Lightner Wallace sentenced to life in prison Court filing links Anderson and Sawyers Man killed in Fatal Crash on US 52 Henry E Fields Anleah W Stamper Maxine M Garrett U.S. 68 reopens Drought ends for Lady Rockets G-Men rise to 3-1 with back-to-back victories Rockets cruise to 4-0 win over Jays Lady Broncos start off SBAAC American Division play with 3-2 win over Goshen Week one football roundup Fair board president Orville Whalen passes away

Ohio Farm Bureau looks for alternatives to enact CAUV changes

After months of administrative stalemate, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation is taking their campaign to fix Current Agricultural Use Value to the Ohio General Assembly.

Both the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate introduced identical bills backed by the OFBF into their respective chambers on November 17 and November 18, respectively, looking to make adjustments to the complex CAUV formula. The OFBF believes that these adjustments will help lower taxes on Ohio farmers, allowing them to continue their business even in a tough economic market.

“Farm bureau’s goal is to improve the accuracy of the formula,” Amy Milam, Director of Legal Education at OFBF said. “I think these are going to be good steps towards that.”

CAUV is a real estate tax reduction program in Ohio that provides farmers who meet certain agricultural qualifications the ability to pay less than market value for their land, making it easier for them to keep their farms in business. To qualify for CAUV, a farmer must have “ten or more acres must be devoted exclusively to commercial agricultural use,” or if they have less than ten acres “devoted exclusively to commercial agricultural use, the farm must produce an average yearly gross income of at least $2,500,” according to the Ohio Department of Taxation.

CAUV uses a formula that takes into account five factors that impacts the income producing potential of farmland, according to the Department of Taxation’s CAUV fact sheet. The five factors are producing potential of farmland: crop prices, crop yields, interest (capitalization) rates, cropping patterns and non-land production costs. The formula takes these factors into account and looks at the last seven year’s of a farmer’s production, cuts off the best year and the worst year, and then averages out the five middle years to determine each farmer’s agriculture real estate taxes.

As of 2014, the market value of an acre of land in Brown County was $2,436, but with CAUV reductions, a farmer with an acre of land would only have to pay an average of $888. That’s a 63.5 percent reduction of market value.

Every three years, CAUV valuations are recalculated across the state. The recalculations are staggered across the three years so that not everyone is feeling the affects of tax reduction changes, whether positively or negatively, at the same time. Brown County’s recalculating year is in 2015, with new tax numbers beginning on Jan. 1, 2016. According to Brown County Auditor Jill Hall, the Department of Taxation’s recalculations will see most farmers in Brown County who qualify for CAUV pay around twice as much in taxes next year as they did in the previous three years.

In November 2014, the OFBF made a series of recommendations to the Department of Taxation to adjust the formula. According to the Department of Taxation, two recommendations from the OFBF were adopted last March; using more current data for crop yields, crop prices, and production costs, and making adjustments to the capitalization rate.

But the OFBF felt there were other adjustments to make, and in May requested more changes from the Department of Taxation. After months of gridlock in Columbus, the OFBF decided it was time to go through legislative means to pass their agenda.

According to Milam, the bills would further adjust the capitalization calculations as well as set land set aside as conservation land at the lowest taxable rate.

“Both of these bills look at two specific recommendations we made in May,” Milam said. “One is to use a more accurate method of capitalization rate in the formula by removing some non-farm factors that are being used, such as appreciation and equity build up. The second item in the bills is for conservation land is to be valued at the lowest soil value.

“It’s looking at land that’s being used for conservation practices for at least three years. Additionally, this is going to the valuation of these conservation practices. Land enrolled in the federal conservation retirement program has no acreage limit on that. With respect to land not in a federal conservation program, currently the statute states up to 25 percent of the CAUV acreage can be used for these practices.”

The bill in the Ohio Senate is sponsored by State Senator Cliff Hite (R-Senate District 1) and the bill in the Ohio House of Representatives is sponsored by State Representative Brian Hill (R-Representative District 97). Brown County’s State Representative Doug Green (R-Representative District 66) is a co-sponsor of the bill.

According to an OFBF press release, the OFBF wants to change some assumptions in the formula that they feel inaccurately values farmland.

“The organization is challenging two inaccurate assumptions in the CAUV formula’s capitalization rate: that land is a short-term investment and that it becomes more valuable as its mortgage is paid down,” the press release states. “The two bills would prohibit certain non-agricultural factors from being used in the CAUV formula and remove disincentives for farmers to engage in certain conservation practices.

“The current CAUV formula assumes land is held for only five years when in reality farmland is typically held for decades and across multiple generations. Currently, there are non-use factors in the formula that inflate farmland value by assuming land appreciates and landowners achieve equity buildup at predetermined rates. But these have nothing to do with the agricultural use of the land. In both bills, the use of equity buildup and appreciation factors would be prohibited.

“Also in the bills are stipulations that CAUV land used for a conservation practice or enrolled in a federal land retirement or conservation program for at least three years be valued at the lowest of the values assigned on the basis of soil type. This requirement would encourage practices that protect the environment and water quality. Currently, farmers are discouraged from idling land because it is taxed as though it is producing crops. Farm Bureau believes taxing conservation lands at the CAUV minimum value is appropriate because conservation lands are non-producing.”

It remains unclear whether or not these bills will make the House and Senate floors, or even if they will pass. There’s no timeline yet on when the bills will be recommended for a committee.

Brown County Auditor Jill Hall is hosting a forum on Thursday, December 10 at 7:00 p.m. at Southern State Community College’s Mt. Orab campus for farmers who qualify for CAUV to ask questions about their tax changes and the reasons behind it. It’s important to note that Hall does not make the changes to CAUV values, but the Department of Taxation does.

Milam will also be at the event representing the OFBF.

Two bills were introduced last week in the Ohio House and Ohio Senate, seeking to improve the accuracy of the CAUV formula.
http://newsdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_GeorgetownFarm1-DanielKarell-1.jpgTwo bills were introduced last week in the Ohio House and Ohio Senate, seeking to improve the accuracy of the CAUV formula.
Dual bills in Ohio House and Senate seek CAUV changes

By Daniel Karell

dkarell@civitasmedia.com

Reach Daniel Karell at 937-378-6161. Follow him on Twitter @GNDKarell

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