Indiana Farm Bureau members from around the state will be in Fort Wayne this weekend for the annual Indiana Farm Bureau State Convention. The Convention will feature the usual awards and discussion meet competition as well as a series of workshops on a variety of topics. Policy delegates will also meet to make minor adjustments to the organization’s position on critical state issues. One of them will be the Soil Productivity Tax formula.
The Indiana General Assembly enacted a one year moratorium on the tax assessment formula while the issue received further study. IFB President Don Villwock says the study results are back, but raise more questions than they answer, “We are really not happy with what we have seen so far. There are some shifts taking place, and there would be some increases for a lot of farmers at a time when commodity prices are crashing.”
On November 13, the Department of Local Government Finance and Purdue presented revised soil productivity factors to the Commission on State Tax and Financing Policy. The results of the study show more variation than was originally predicted. Those findings are being reviewed by Purdue. IFB says review by farmers across the state is definitely in order. Farmer members are asked to review soil type data for the counties in which they farm to look for trends in the changes to predicted yields and resultant soil productivity rankings/ratings. Insight about specific soil types would be very helpful. To review your soils and comment, simply click on the rotating soil productivity rating image at infarmbureau.org.
At the convention, Farm Bureau leaders will be deciding if they want to request another year moratorium to continue to study the issue. Villwock says delegates may also have some serious discussions about property taxes in general, “Property taxes are scheduled to increase each of the next 3 years, and those farmers who went through harvest this year know that corn has a $4 price tag not $6.”
Watch for coverage of the Farm Bureau State Convention over the weekend on our web site, app, facebook, and twitter, as well as for a wrap up next week on HAT stations.