Property Tax Hike on Farmland Blocked
New law scraps formula for valuing soil while state, Purdue craft new one
Gov. Mike Pence (R) signs the soil productivity bill as Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg), the bill's author, looks on (left). (WIBC.com photo: Eric Berman)
Indiana farmers will escape a looming increase in their property taxes.
Governor Pence has signed a law blocking the state from implementing a new formula for calculating the productivity of farm soil. Assessors use that formula to as part of their calculation of what farmland is worth.
The Indiana Farm Bureau contends the Department of Local Government Finance set the wrong baseline for that formula, resulting in tax hikes for all Hoosier farmers if the law hadn't been passed. Instead, Purdue agronomists will assist in crafting a new formula.
The law is the first Pence has signed as governor, and the first passed by this year's legislature. The House and Senate won't start considering the rest of each other's proposed laws until next week, but the House fast-tracked the soil-formula bill to get it on the books as quickly as possible.