The House Finance Committee has scheduled the bill for a hearing on Thursday January 30, at 1:30. The hearing is in the John L. O’Brien Building (JLOB), Hearing Room A.
If you can come to the hearing and sign in as supporting that would be good.
if you are a farmer impacted by this, it would be good to testify. Two minutes to tell your story of how the existing tax code impacts you. If you can’t come in person, please email or write to the House Finance committee members. You can send one email to all of them. Their contact information is here. Your personal story is very important.
The Finance Committee will be interested about why this makes sense from a tax policy basis. Will changing this law make a difference for farmers, for you? Is there a public benefit that will result? Think about those policy questions as you prepare your testimony.
We also need to think about the opposition to this bill, which is two fold. It decreases the assessment of the land under a farm residence, which will result in taxes being shifted. The amount of shift varies from county to county. In some counties it is pennies, in others dollars. This chart, which is based on data from a few years ago, lays it out. Why this shift is a good thing for the public needs to be explained. Privately held farmland amounts to a resource that is valuable to communities. Do you think County Assessors have the tools they need to administer this program? If you are a farmer, you can describe what detail the Assessor requires now and how this seems sufficient to administer. Already Assessors are administering this for farms over 20 acres. They will not have to invent the wheel, or reinvent it either.
Thanks for your interest and help.