Indiana Farm Bureau members helped convince the Indiana General Assembly to pass SB 308 in the just completed session. The bill provides historic levels of farmland tax relief by making permanent and significant changes to the farmland value formula. INFB president Randy Kron says the key in the bill is to more accurately represent the current farm economy.
“The last few years have been very good to agriculture, but now we’re looking at an economy where it’s $3.60 a bushel corn,” he said. “The taxes were more reflective of that 6, 7, 8-dollar corn because of the way the formula is and the delays that were in it. So we were paying taxes at a level that is not reality right now. So our members told us this is a top priority and we pushed for it to make sure it was reflective of the true farm economy where we are now.”
Indiana rates have jumped a lot in recent years. Look at a tax rate map of the Midwest and our state leads the pack.
“And we use those charts. We want to be competitive compared to other states, but it’s about what’s really fair for taxes. What should we paying or what’s a fair level to be paying? Right now as I talk to most farmers, the next couple of years when you talk to Purdue economists, their projections are breaking even is about the best option you have and you hope you can just get to break-even.”
In his first year leading Indiana Farm Bureau Kron has placed a priority on increased membership. But he told HAT it’s not just more members the organization needs, but engaged members who can truly effect change, as in the case of SB 308.
“Just being a member and not having your voice heard, not talking to legislators, that’s not an option anymore,” he explained. “There are other people talking to them and who do you want defining the future and the path that agriculture goes down? I think nobody better than the farmers themselves, and the only way we can do it is by having engaged members.”
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Hear more from Kron in the HAT interview conducted on Good Friday:Randy Kron