Also, to go along with this, for several reasons, the CAUV values skyrocketed due mainly to the extremely low interest rates pursued by the Federal Reserve that found their way into the CAUV’s use value formula.
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This has resulted in a massive tax burden switch (estimated to be over $2 billion) onto the backs of Ohio farmers. Thus, we are back where we were almost 45 years ago, with an over-reliance on local property taxes to fund Ohio education. This situation has been ruled unconstitutional at least four times in the DeRolph Ohio Supreme Court decisions.
Since most local property taxes go to fund schools, the reverse tradeoff now in revenue amounts to the schools receiving less from the state through the reduced income tax and more from local real property taxes. The promise has been broken.
Rural taxpayers, especially farmers, are not stupid — and a farm protest has been sweeping across Ohio like the fall harvest to come. Petitions are being circulated to remedy the tax burden switch at the behest of Ohio Farmers United, a loose coalition of farmers, woodland owners and residential taxpayers.
Hopefully, the current General Assembly and Gov. Kasich will honor Agriculture Day here in Ohio this year and respond to these protests by passing corrective legislation that has been introduced in the state legislature. If not, rural school districts in particular will suffer and not be able to pass their tax levies, even their renewals, as farm and woodland owners organize to defeat them. Sad Ag Day in Ohio — 2017.
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Ted Finnarn is a Darke County Attorney and farmland owner who has represented Ohio Farmers Union on the CAUV Advisory Committee to the state Tax Department for 41 years.