Randy Kron makes it his business to know what’s happening statewide that could affect Indiana farmers and their families. Sometimes, they’re quality-of-life issues, and sometimes they’re things that could take money out of a farmer’s wallet if left unchecked. Kron, a farmer in Vanderburgh County, is president of Indiana Farm Bureau Inc.
Here are two issues he and his staff are watching closely. One concerns a continued push for rural broadband across Indiana. The other relates to inconsistencies in how properties are assessed for property tax purposes in various counties.
Rural broadband. “Gov. Eric Holcomb was at our farm recently, and I made sure he realized that even though we’re only a few miles from Evansville, we don’t have fast, consistent internet service,” Kron says. “We need quality, high-speed internet service to the last mile in rural Indiana.”
Kron praises Holcomb for what he’s done so far to spur industry to invest in extending internet to rural areas. Holcomb set aside $100 million for grants for rural internet development, and the Legislature embraced it and made it part of the budget this year. “We just need to keep reminding them,” Kron says.
Tax assessment. Many people may think this issue was resolved. However, INFB still gets reports from members that land and improvements aren’t being assessed equally from county to county. The net result can be much higher property tax bills for some producers than others.
One member says the land under his hog buildings is being assessed as commercial property in his county, significantly increasing assessed value and property tax bills.
“This situation needs to be examined and resolved,” Kron insists.