An older commercial for an antacid product, Rolaids, asked how do you spell relief? Katrina Hall says farmers now have their own version of property tax relief. It didn’t come in the form of a tablet, but instead thanks to legislation farmers pushed for from the Indiana General Assembly.
“Senate Bill 308 that eventually passed offers a lot of relief on farmland property taxes,” says Hall, head of legislative services for Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc. “We were successful with our members help in getting relief over the past couple of years, but that was more in terms of holding the line on property taxes on farmland so that it didn’t go up more.
“Some people had trouble visualizing how much relief they were actually getting because their bills were still high. This time they will see actual lower tax bills going into the future.”
The decline in property tax value on Indiana farmland will be gradual over the next few years. However, it will be a real decline, not just a freeze of values where they are today.
Assessed value for average farmland for this year is $2,050 per acre, Hall says. It would have been higher, and higher for next year yet, if not for the action of the Indiana General Assembly in 2015. Now comes the real relief. “We’re going to see the amount due per acre go down over the next six to seven years,” Hall says. In fact, by 2022, she estimates the property tax for farmland will be based on an average assessed valuation of $1,430 per acre. Anyway you spell it, that’s real relief.
“We couldn’t be happier about what the Indiana General Assembly did to provide real property tax relief for farmers this time,” she says. Farmers will soon be able to see their bills going down in real terms, and not just holding steady instead of climbing higher. That’s a huge achievement, she concludes.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: This chart shows how SB 308 will push property values down by 2022.