Counties lose money when property is assessed as agricultural, but isn’t being used that way.
House Bill 1085 attempts to solve this problem, BUT the provisions of this bill sweep up actual farmers–specifically those small-acreage producers whose land is close to local markets–and threaten to increase their property tax bills by, in some cases, OVER FIVE HUNDRED PERCENT.
In Tuesday’s House Taxation Committee, local producers and DRA’s lobbyist expressed those concerns, and the Dept. of Revenue testified that yes, this bill will affect some local producers–and gave an example of a five-acre truck farm whose tax bill would go from $175 per year to $1000 per year should the bill pass in its current form.
Specifically, this bill says that if a small-acreage producer has less than ten acres and municipal utilities are stubbed to their land, they can’t be assessed as ag, even if they’re producing and marketing enough to qualify otherwise. This could be devastating for well-established truck farmers as well as beginning producers in places like the Spearfish Valley, areas around Sioux Falls, Vermillion, Brookings, and other growing communities.
If you value the producers who are the backbone of our local and regional food system, please contact your Representatives and tell them that this bill needs to FIXED to protect small-acreage producers or NIXED on the House floor.
Find contact info for your Representatives HERE or use your DRA Legislative Guide.
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