Missouri Farm Bureau Opposes Tax Increase on Farmers
The Missouri State Tax Commission approved today as much as a 29% increase in farmland assessments which will substantially increase property taxes on farmers in Missouri. Missouri Farm Bureau urged the Commission not to increase farmland productivity values and believes such an increase is unjustified and would be economically harmful to many struggling farmers.
"As we stated to the State Tax Commission, many Missouri farm and ranch families are facing financial strain like they have never seen. Extreme market volatility combined with record production expenses, unusually wet weather, and weak demand have left many producers struggling to manage debt and cashflow," said Charles Kruse, president of Missouri Farm Bureau. "Missouri farmers are carrying some of the highest debt load in the nation, and clearly they cannot be expected to shoulder a tax increase."
Kruse went on to say, "Property tax levies are set locally, but an increase in farmland productivity values means a tax increase on farmers and ranchers. Fortunately, the Missouri General Assembly, not the State Tax Commission, has the final word on whether the increased farmland assessments will become reality, and we will vigorously urge the General Assembly to overturn this tax increase."
"We urged Governor Jay Nixon to weigh in on this issue before the decision, and we now urge him to speak out in opposition to the recommended tax increase."
In farmland grades 1 - 4, which include most of the state's cropland, the productivity values would increase by almost 29% according to the State Tax Commission's recommendation, or an average increase of about 90 cents per acre. In grades 5 - 7, which include pasture, the productivity values would decrease about 24%, or an average decrease of about 20 cents per acre. Statewide, the total value of farmland using the new productivity values would increase 11.5%.
The Missouri General Assembly has 60 calendar days from the beginning of the 2010 legislative session to approve a concurrent resolution rejecting the proposed changes made by the State Tax Commission. If such a concurrent resolution passes, then the farmland assessments remain what they are today.