New York Farm Bureau Celebrates Priority Victory for Farmers

11/12/2013

Following months of hard work and advocacy by hundreds of farmers, the New York Farm Bureau was excited to see Gov. Andrew Cuomo sign the bill setting a 2 percent cap on agricultural land assessments. In recent years, farmers have carried an increasingly heavy property tax burden that is 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 percent a year.
 
This does not mean farmers won't be paying their fair share of taxes. It will simply control the rate of escalation, which will make it easier for family farms to budget for and pay their taxes. By putting pen to paper, Cuomo has given another boost to New York family farms that contribute greatly to both the physical and economic health of their communities, and the New York Farm Bureau very much appreciates his continued partnership on critical economic issues.
 
The New York Farm Bureau also worked closely with many agricultural organizations to make this a reality. In addition, Sen. Patty Ritchie and Assemblyman Bill Magee ushered the bill through their respective houses, culminating in unanimous bipartisan victories. To all of them, the New York Farm Bureau expresses sincere gratitude.
 
"I want to thank Gov. Cuomo for his continuing commitment to farms across the state. The 2 percent agricultural assessment cap has long been a priority for New York Farm Bureau. It is a big step forward in reducing the increasing property tax burden that has limited our farmers' ability to grow. It will also help young and beginning farmers as they endeavor to provide locally grown food, fuel and fiber.  Today is a victory for all farmers, and this shows what can happen when we all work together for the betterment of agriculture," said Dean Norton, president of the New York Farm Bureau.
 
"We are very pleased that Gov. Cuomo has signed this important legislation. Farm Credit East appreciates the leadership role that New York Farm Bureau took to get this done and the opportunity for us to partner in building support for this bill," said Bill Lipinski, CEO of Farm Credit East.
 
"This legislation provides a new level of predictability and stability for financial planning in the agriculture industry, which is a very welcome change. 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, which will benefit all farmers," said Jim Trezise, president of the New York Wine and Grape Foundation.
 
"Signing this legislation is yet another example of Gov. Cuomo's support of New York state agriculture and his commitment to help farmers in NYS continue to grow to make NYS a leader in agriculture. The cap will benefit apple growers that operate over 54,000 acres of apple orchards in the Empire State. We thank Gov. Cuomo for signing the bill and New York Farm Bureau for working to bring this action into fruition," said Jim Allen, president of the New York Apple Association.
 
"This is an important day for New York farmers. The price of farmland is ever increasing, and this legislation will help prevent property taxes from rising at an equally fast rate in the state. The New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association commends Gov. Cuomo for signing this legislation, and we appreciate the hard work of New York Farm Bureau on this critical issue," said Julia Robbins, executive director for the New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association.
 
"The 2 percent agricultural assessment cap is vital to preserving New York's family farms. Without this cap, tax costs will escalate to an unaffordable level for the farms and force many family farms out of business," Dale Stein, Northeast Dairy Producers Association (NEDPA) board director.