Indiana News

Legislators May Veto Change in Farmland Tax Calculations

2/6/2013

Hoosier farmers are halfway to blocking a property-tax change they say would cost them millions of dollars.

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Along with the estimated market value of their land, farmers are taxed based on the productivity of their soil. In 2011, the Department of Local Government Finance rewrote the formula for calculating productivity. Bob Kraft with the Indiana Farm Bureau complains that formula takes into account a farmer's land management and technological advances -- factors he argues are already a prt of calculating the base value of the land. The Farm Bureau has been lobbying for a formula that would compare soil productivity to a state average, and leave management practices out of the equation.

Legislators ordered a one-year delay of the new rules last year. The Senate has already unanimously approved a second delay, along with an order to work with Purdue on a new formula which legislators would have to approve.

Kraft says the old formula would boost tax bills by 57-million dollars. Oldenburg Senator Jean Leising (R) says some bills could go up as much as 45-percent.

A House committee has been considering a similar bill.

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