Thursday the Indiana Senate Appropriations Committee approved Senate Bill 319; the bill that requires that the soil productivity factors used for the March 2011 assessment of agricultural land continued to be used. The bill passed out of the committee by a 12-0 vote. A similar bill was presented in the House Ways & Means Committee – but was not voted on when it was presented.
The legislation addresses the unreasonable increases in the state’s soil productivity factor proposed by the Department of Local Government Finance. The soil productivity factor is one component in the formula used to assess property tax for farmland.
Indiana Farm Bureau’s Katrina Hall testified in both hearings and pointed out statewide property taxes for farmers could go up as much as 26 percent in the next year without a legislative fix.
That much of an increase, she says, would create an unfavorable business climate for agriculture.