May 5, 2016

Governor Cuomo Announces $23 Million in Savings to Farmers Through Agricultural Land Assessment Cap

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces $23 Million in Savings...

Two-Year Combined Savings Provides Substantial Benefit to NYS Farmers


WYSIWYG

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced more than $23 million in savings over a two-year period for farmers across the state as a result of the Agricultural Land Assessment Cap. First signed into law by the Governor in 2013, the cap prevents agricultural assessments from being increased by more than two percent per year. The previous cap was set at 10 percent.

“Agriculture remains a key driver in New York’s economy, and this administration is committed to helping ensure its strength and vitality,” Governor Cuomo said. “By providing much-need property tax relief to our farmers, we are lowering the cost of doing business and driving growth in this vital industry for years to come.”

In the seven years before Governor Cuomo implemented the farmland assessment cap, the base assessment value for agricultural lands nearly doubled. In the first year after its implementation, farmers saved $11 million. By 2015, that annual savings grew to $12 million. The Department of Taxation and Finance projects even greater growth in 2016.

Regional Savings Resulting From Agricultural Assessment Cap since 2013

Capital Region

$2,887,485

Central New York

$1,658,240

Finger Lakes

$5,908,435

Long Island

$2,363,656

Mid-Hudson

$5,767,577

Mohawk Valley

$661,235

North Country

$736,314

Southern Tier

$2,107,031

Western New York

$1,236,972

Total

$23,326,944

 

Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “By keeping taxes both low and predictable, farmers are able to make more informed business decisions, which can help increase productivity and profitability. The savings the industry is seeing now for the second consecutive year is providing substantial benefit to our farmers’ bottom line.”

Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Jerry Boone said, “The agricultural assessment cap works together with the property tax cap to control the growth of property taxes. It promotes the economic vitality of agribusiness across our state and builds on Governor Cuomo’s unprecedented success to provide property tax relief to New Yorkers.”

Dean Norton, President of the New York Farm Bureau, said, “New York Farm Bureau worked with the governor and lawmakers in advocating for the agricultural assessment cap, and it has proven to be an important cost saving tool for farmers. The effort to lower business costs and control taxes is important to the future sustainability of the state’s family farms.”

Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Senator Patty Ritchie, the said, “The future of family farming depends on farmers being able to stay on their land and pass their operations on to the next generation. As the numbers show, this cap is translating into real savings for our hardworking farmers—and it’s these savings that are allowing them to keep costs down, stay on their land and continue to contribute to the further growth of New York’s agricultural economy.”

Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Assemblyman Bill Magee said, “The state’s two percent agricultural assessment cap on farms has helped provide stability on farm tax bills, encouraging farmers to invest in growing their businesses. I’m pleased to have worked with the Governor and my colleagues in the Legislature to support this important cost-saving measure that is continuing to benefit and sustain New York’s agricultural industry.”

In 2011, the Governor implemented a two percent property tax cap for all New Yorkers. The tax cap is one in a series of tax relief initiatives pursued by Governor Cuomo in an effort to change New York's "tax capital" mentality and provide much needed relief to businesses and homeowners. As a result of the cap, property taxpayers have saved more than $800 on average. If the trend continues, by 2017 the typical taxpayer will have saved more than $2,100 in local property taxes.

For more information on the agricultural assessment program, including applications and instructions, visit the NYS Tax Department’s website

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