It is a trend that been occurring with disturbing regularity around the state, municipalities forcibly annexing surrounding farmland in order to increase their tax base. Katrina Hall with Indiana Farm Bureau says farmers in this situation have little recourse, “We are concerned about the cost of fighting an involuntary annexation and the likelihood that a farmer would not prevail in such action.” She said legal action is one’s only defense and case law is stacked against the landowner. A measure (SB273) that would have put a moratorium on this practice passed the House, but failed to make it out of the Senate.
Hall said opposition to the measure came from cities who do not want to lose the chance to grab up surrounding farmland, “We understand that cities are under pressure from the loss of tax revenue due to circuit breakers and other issues, but it is not the responsibility of landowners outside of their boundaries to solve the problem.” IFB issued special thanks to Sen. Jim Buck and Rep. Bob Cherry for their work on this issue. Hall expects it will be an issue that will be back before lawmakers next session. A study committee will examine the issue in detail this summer.