This week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation setting a 2% cap on agricultural land assessments. It'll give farmers a tax burden break that's the second highest in the country and more than triple the national average.
The cap will limit increases of agricultural assessment to no more than 2% a year. Controlling the rate of escalation will make it easier for family farms to budget for and pay their taxes, explains Dean Norton, president of New York Farm Bureau. "This is a victory for all farmers," he adds.
New York Farm Bureau also worked closely with many agricultural organizations to make today a reality. In addition, Senator Patty Ritchie and Assemblyman Bill Magee ushered the bill through their respective houses, culminating in unanimous bipartisan victories.
A number of ag organizations credit New York Farm Bureau for partnering with them to get the legislation to the governor's desk. "This legislation provides a new level of predictability and stability for financial planning in the agriculture industry, which is a very welcome change," notes Jim Trezise, president of New York Wine and Grape Foundation. "Like other farmers, New York grape growers and wineries will benefit from this, and we are very grateful to the legislature and Governor for creating this new law. We also congratulate and thank our great colleagues at New York Farm Bureau for achieving this top priority."
"Signing this legislation is yet another example of Governor Cuomo's support of New York State agriculture," adds Jim Allen, president of the New York Apple Association. "The cap will benefit apple growers that operate over 54,000 acres of apple orchards in the Empire State. We thank New York Farm Bureau for working to bring this action into fruition."
And Dale Stein, Northeast Dairy Producers Association board director, adds, Without this cap, tax costs will escalate to an unaffordable level for the farms and force many family farms out of business."