Wisconsin farmland tax credit bill moves forward
A Wisconsin State Senator is hopeful some needed changes to the state of Wisconsin’s Farmland Preservation Tax Credit Program will become law this time.
Ag Committee member Patrick Testin tells Brownfield that thanks to farmer input, Senate Bill 134 would modernize a program that hasn’t been updated in many years. “Based on feedback from farmers from survey reports that came out from DATCP (Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection), making sure that we’re taking the commitment from 15 years down to 10, increasing the tax credits, and creating a new tax credit.”
Testin says previous attempts to update the farmland preservation law died in the Senate but this time passed with only one no vote. “We’re likely going to hear the bill in the Joint Finance Committee this coming week. It has to go before the finance committee because it is an appropriations bill. Then, my hope is that this is going to give the Assembly the encouragement they need to take this bill up.”
Testin says if passed, the program would increase the credit for acres in a farmland preservation zoning district but not subject to a farmland preservation agreement from $7.50 per acre to $10.00 per acre. Tax credits for land in a farmland preservation agreement but not in a farmland preservation zoning district would go from $5.00 to $10.00. The credit for acres subject to a farmland preservation agreement and within a farmland preservation zoning district would go from $10.00 to $12.50. The new credit would pay $10.00 per acre for land in a farmland preservation area and enrolled in a farmland conservation easement.
Testin says his legislation would make it more farmer-friendly with shorter time commitments. He says the bill is good for ag, good for conservation, good for water, and it’s in the best position for passage it’s ever been in.
Audio: Senator Patrick Testin discusses proposed changes to the Wisconsin Farmland Preservation Tax Credits with Brownfield’s Larry Lee