Practices get underway for fall sports Jays soon to begin quest for SHAC title Western Brown to hold Meet the Teams Night and OHSAA parent meeting Aug. 8 Norville F Hardyman Carol J Tracy James Witt Hundreds of Narcan doses used in 2016 Heavy weekend rain causes flooding and damaged roads Child Focus hosts Chamber of Commerce meeting Mary F McElroy Broncos out to defend SBAAC American Division soccer title Bronco 5K to take place Aug. 5 EHS volleyball team ready for new season Michael C Cooper Raymond Mays Harry E Smittle Jr Mary A Flaugher Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Ricky L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5 Teams compete in memory of Randy Fulton Mike W Smith Roger Helton David A Borders Timothy E Argenbright Joseph W Sherrill Frances K Pedigo Cecil N Graham Sawyers charged in sex for heroin plot Group demands changes at ELSD Blanche Malblanc Pauline L Kirk Over 70 take part in 11th Joe Myers 5K Classic Lions Club 4th of July Festival brings outdoor fun to Ripley ODNR reminds visitors to swim safe this summer Changes in high school track and field/cross country rules include school issued and approved uniforms Betty L Philpott Judy B Williams Billie J Russell Remembering Ravye 25 attend volleyball camp in Fayetteville Western Brown hosts Pee Wee Football Camp Eugene L Baumann Kids enjoy a ‘Touch-a-Truck’ event in Mt. Orab New police chief takes over in Fayetteville BC Chamber moving forward on 2017 SummerFest Two killed in wrong way crash in Mt. Orab Jack Hamilton Charles L Glover Maxine M Stires Western Brown youth basketball camps a success Leto to represent Team USA in Australia Broncos hard at work in preparation for fall season Eastern approves bowling team Phyllis Ruth Lois A Manley Eddie L Carr Thomas L Carnahan Cameron Barkley Walter J McGee Gary J Graham George D Johnson Walter F Crawford Jr Charles E Meranda Jr Corbin testifies before Ohio Senate Five arrested in Hamersville drug bust Neil Diamond tribute band coming Hyde finds home at Midway Youngsters work to improve on hoop skills at Eastern basketball camps Sizer named All-District Honorable Mention Western Brown’s Barnes earns All-State, All-District honors Local players compete in SWOFCA Ron Woyan East/West All-Star Game 6th annual Ravye Williams Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament set for June 24 Clarence E Teal Rosie B Poe Monard C Boots James P Conrad James T Dinser Scott J Swearingen Eastern’s Farris earns award for top 2-point field percentage in Ohio Georgetown’s Seigla earns All-District honors OHSAA announces 2017 football regions and playoffs format Western Brown volleyball camps a success with over 100 in attendance Rigdon finishes high school running career with 10th place finish at state track and field championship meet Grace E Fite Women return to county jail as funds start to run low Georgetown Council takes action on vacant structures Veterans honored in Mt. Orab

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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