Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Rochester

Bill could save thousands of dollars for farmers

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Rochester: Bill could save thousands of dollars for farmers
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Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that could save farmers thousands of dollars every year. YNN's Michael Howard has more on the good news for farmers across the state.

STATEWIDE -- No matter how much work Gareth Howard has put in at Rocky Reef Farm over the last 13 years, taxes have always been on the rise.

“Our county and town tax has gone up,” says Howard. "But it’s also because the agriculture value assessment keeps going up every year.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill this week to put a tax cap on agricultural land assessments. The bill was approved by lawmakers from around the state.

“The assessed value of a property is going up and up which has been happening more and more,” said Assemblyman Kieran Lalor. “Especially as areas are developing and if that happens, the tax bill on the farmer goes up, which then might force him into selling.”

The bill says taxes on a farmers land cannot increase more than 2 percent in any year, even if the value of the land is assessed higher than the cap itself.

“Our farmers pay on average, $38 per acre in taxes where the average across the county is $12 per acre, so we're at a disadvantage,” said Lalor.

The move equals big savings for farmers across the state, including Howard.

“It makes us happy to stay in business that’s for sure,” said Howard.

The new law will be a savings for farmers for years to come.

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