Critics: Reducing farmland tax would cost Ohio homeowners


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio lawmakers are debating whether to reduce property taxes for farmers amid criticism that taxes would rise for rural homeowners and school districts could lose state funding.

The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/24A8YV7 ) reports that pending legislation would alter the Current Agriculture Use Value, a complex property value adjustment for state farmland.

The program leads to a lower property tax rate that helps farmers. But Ohio Farm Bureau officials say rising crop prices and low interest rates have led to farmers paying $370 million more in taxes.

Proposed legislation would further reduce farmland values by possibly more than 25 percent.

An analysis says a 27-percent reduction would see residential property owners paying an estimated $71 million more in property taxes. Suburban and urban schools could lose millions in annual local tax losses.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com