Indiana Farm Bureau thanks the Indiana General Assembly for its quick and unanimous passage of Senate Bill 319, which addresses unreasonable increases in the state’s soil productivity factor proposed by the state’s Department of Local Government Finance. The soil productivity factor is one component in the complex calculation used to assess property tax. The bipartisan bill passed the Indiana House today on a 97-0 vote. SB 319 did not receive any negative votes in either house, which clearly indicates that the factors need to be further evaluated by the Department of Local Government Finance. SB 319 now goes to the governor for his signature.
Particular thanks go to Sens. Jean Leasing, Greg Walker, and John Waterman, who authored the bill, and the House sponsor and co-sponsor, Reps. Don Lehe and Bob Cherry, as well as the dozens of representatives and senators who signed on to the bill. Farm Bureau also thanks House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long for fast-tracking SB 319 that will allow it to be enacted before the March 1, 2013, assessment date.
The bill will retain the long-standing soil productivity factors for the 2013 assessment (pay 2014) of farmland. It also directs the Department of Local Government Finance, in cooperation with the Purdue College of Agriculture, to develop and submit to the General Assembly recommendations and justifications for any proposed changes in the methodology used to establish soil productivity factors that adjust the base value of farmland.
According to the bipartisan Legislative Services Agency, SB 319 will save Indiana farmers from paying an additional $57.4 million next year and each year thereafter.