IBJNews

Pence signs bill delaying new farmland taxes

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

 New calculations for property taxes on Indiana farmland will be delayed for another year under a bill that on Wednesday became the first to be signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence.

The measure — the first to reach the governor — unanimously cleared both the House and Senate in the past month in order to beat a March 1 deadline for when local assessors were to start using updated soil quality figures to determine tax bills for agricultural lands. Those changes were projected to lead to an average 25 percent increase in tax payments for farm owners.

Pence, who took office Jan. 14, signed the bill during a ceremony in his Statehouse office in front of a couple dozen farmers and legislative sponsors.

Pence said the proposal allows for "lowering taxes" on Indiana farmers, although the new calculations haven't been put into effect — and were also delayed by the Legislature during the 2012 session.

The bill requires the state Department of Local Government Finance and Purdue University agriculture researchers to prepare a review of the soil productivity measurement for the Legislature to consider next year.

Pence and others said it was important to head off the estimated $57 million increase in property taxes for the roughly 62,000 farms in the state.

The governor said the bill is important because it will help keep Indiana farms competitive and allow the state to "avoid an unnecessary tax increase by the imposition of an assessment that doesn't take in the unique challenges that Hoosier agriculture faces."

Assessors use the soil productivity measurement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as one of the factors in determining the property tax bills for agricultural land.

The higher bills for farmers wouldn't mean greater overall tax collections for local governments, as the bills for other property such as residential, commercial and industrial would go down by a similar amount, said Rep. Robert Cherry, one of the farmland tax delay's sponsors.

Cherry said it was important for state officials to understand the changes in farmland tax assessment before farm owners see such a big increase.

"It's not favoring one sector," said Cherry, R-Greenfield. "All we're doing is to make sure we do it right before the shift happens, because the worst thing would be to do it and end up in a lawsuit or with wrong information."

Randy Kron, vice president of the Indiana Farm Bureau, said the organization believes the soil quality information is flawed and that having it studied more closely is among its top priorities.

"If it needs updating, it should go through the right authorities and the right people," said Kron, who farms about 2,000 acres near Evansville. "I think they'll find out, most likely, that there does not need to be a change to the factors right now."

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. In reality, Lilly is maintaining profit by cutting costs such as Indiana/US citizen IT workers by a significant amount with their Tata Indian consulting connection, increasing Indian H1B's at Lillys Indiana locations significantly and offshoring to India high paying Indiana jobs to cut costs and increase profit at the expense of U.S. workers.

  2. I think perhaps there is legal precedence here in that the laws were intended for family farms, not pig processing plants on a huge scale. There has to be a way to squash this judges judgment and overrule her dumb judgement. Perhaps she should be required to live in one of those neighbors houses for a month next to the farm to see how she likes it. She is there to protect the people, not the corporations.

  3. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/03-111.htm Corporate farms are not farms, they are indeed factories on a huge scale. The amount of waste and unhealthy smells are environmentally unsafe. If they want to do this, they should be forced to buy a boundary around their farm at a premium price to the homeowners and landowners that have to eat, sleep, and live in a cesspool of pig smells. Imagine living in a house that smells like a restroom all the time. Does the state really believe they should take the side of these corporate farms and not protect Indiana citizens. Perhaps justifiable they should force all the management of the farms to live on the farm itself and not live probably far away from there. Would be interesting to investigate the housing locations of those working at and managing the corporate farms.

  4. downtown in the same area as O'malia's. 350 E New York. Not sure that another one could survive. I agree a Target is needed d'town. Downtown Philly even had a 3 story Kmart for its downtown residents.

  5. Indy-area residents... most of you have no idea how AMAZING Aurelio's is. South of Chicago was a cool pizza place... but it pales in comparison to the heavenly thin crust Aurelio's pizza. Their deep dish is pretty good too. My waistline is expanding just thinking about this!

ADVERTISEMENT