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Ohio Department of Taxation: Farmland Tax Values Drop in 23 Ohio Counties.

Business Editors


Farmland values used in determining property tax bills dropped an average of $27 per acre -- about 10% -- over the past three years.

The decline will affect taxes on agricultural land in 23 Ohio counties for 2001, 2002 and 2003. The values were recently calculated by the Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT).

The lower values apply for agricultural land enrolled in Ohio's Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) program. CAUV was established following voter approval of an amendment to the Ohio Constitution in 1973. The amendment created an "agricultural use" value for taxing farmland. Other land in Ohio is taxed on "market" value.

For land in the 23 counties affected by the new rates, the average per acre value dropped from $258 three years ago to $231 today. Land in the CAUV program enjoys tax savings of 73 percent over land assessed at market value.

In many cases, the new values will result in lower property taxes for farmland in the CAUV program. An exception would be where a new levy offsets the savings.

The new values will be used to calculate tax bills paid in 2002, 2003 and 2004 (property tax is paid in the year after it's assessed). Taxpayers will not be able to get their individual values until November or December of this year.

ODT officials attributed the decrease in agricultural land values to reduced crop prices over the last seven years for which data was considered in calculating the values. ODT uses five factors in the formula for determining CAUV values for more than 3,300 soil types in Ohio: crop yields, cropping patterns, crop prices, non-land production costs and capitalization rates (the cost of money invested in the land).

CAUV values change, but Ohio Tax Commissioner Tom Zaino said, "We attempt to avoid severe fluctuations in values by using seven years of data in our calculations. This helps ensure that the values are fair and accurate and reflect the long-term trends in Ohio's agricultural economy."

An advisory committee composed of experts in farm production and economic issues participates in developing information for the ODT calculations. Organizations named to this committee include the Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio State Grange, National Farmers' Organization, Ohio Farmers' Union, County Auditors' Association of Ohio, Ohio Association of County Treasurers, Ohio Society of Farm Managers & Rural Appraisers and the Ohio Chapter, Realtors Land Institute.

All real property in Ohio, including land in the CAUV program, is by law revised every three years being subject either to an inspection and reappraisal or the less intensive property value update. The re-valuation of property is done on a rotating annual schedule so a different group of counties goes through the process each year.

Counties impacted by the new CAUV values this year are: Adams, Carroll, Champaign, Clark, Columbiana, Fairfield, Hancock, Hocking, Holmes, Lawrence, Logan, Marion, Medina, Meigs, Miami, Monroe, Paulding, Ross, Scioto, Tuscarawas, Washington, Union and Wyandot.

Farmland must be enrolled in the CAUV program and meet certain requirements to qualify for tax savings, and the tax savings apply only to agricultural land. Participation in CAUV is voluntary.

Farmers must apply at their county auditor's office every year to keep CAUV status for their land. First time applicants pay a $25 fee. There is no fee for subsequent re-enrollments.

More than 16 million acres of Ohio's 19.3 million acres of agricultural land are enrolled in the CAUV program.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 2, 2001
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