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Farmer John Peck, of Peck Homestead Farm in Champion, in Jefferson County, is worried about how steadily rising property taxes are affecting his livelihood. Photo: Joanna Richards
Farmer John Peck, of Peck Homestead Farm in Champion, in Jefferson County, is worried about how steadily rising property taxes are affecting his livelihood. Photo: Joanna Richards

Could the two percent ag land tax cap hurt non-farmers?

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New York farmers are closely watching the fate of a bill in Albany that would cap assessments of their land at a two percent increase per year. That's compared to the current 10 percent per year.

Agricultural land is assessed according to the crops growing on it. And corn and soybean prices have been soaring. But lots of farmers might not see profits from those high prices, and many say they're paying a lot more in taxes, without taking in a lot more money.

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Reported by

Nora Flaherty
Digital Editor, News

Farmers can choose whether or not to have their land assessed as agricultural; but there's no cap on increases in residential assessment.

St. Lawrence County legislator and former dairy farmer Sallie Brothers says that fact means if the two percent cap passes, non-farmers could see themselves taking up a lot of slack:

"If the ceiling cap is two percent, and mine is 50 percent, if you're a farmer you're getting a discount on your taxes that somebody, someone, somewhere has to pick up that dollar value on the levy. And that would be me."

The Ag tax cap bill passed the Senate and is awaiting action by the Assembly.

To hear Nora Flaherty's full conversation with Sallie Brothers, click on "listen."

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