Assembly passes caps to lower taxes on farmers

Jun 19, 2013

The New York State Assembly passed a bill Tuesday that will cap agricultural land assessment increases at two percent a year.

Previously, agricultural property tax assessments were capped at 10 percent. But in just 15 years, property taxes doubled for family farms.

“The passage of the two percent cap on agricultural assessments is welcomed news on farms all across New York. Not one has been immune to the skyrocketing property taxes that make it more difficult to provide local food and products to their communities," said Dean Norton, president of the New York Farm Bureau, in a press release.

New York state farmers pay an average of over $38 per acre in property taxes, the second highest in the country.

Some local governments, including St. Lawrence County’s legislature, fear the cap will put more pressure on other taxpayers.

Agricultural land assessments are determined using a complicated formula that takes into account the land's soil type and national crop production values. The New York Farm Bureau is also advocating for the establishment of a working group comprised of farmers and experts to address the long term problem of agricultural assessment appraisals.