STATEHOUSE — Senate Bill (SB) 319, sponsored by State Representative Don Lehe (R-Brookston) and cosponsored by State Representative Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield), was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee Thursday. SB 319 passed the Senate with a unanimous vote. SB 319 is the first piece of legislation to switch houses in the 2013 legislative session and is on the fast track to becoming law.
SB 319 states that the soil productivity factors used for the March 1, 2011 assessment of agricultural land must also be used for the March 1, 2013 assessment date. Under this bill, the current soil productivity factors would remain in place for property taxes payable in 2014, and the new soil productivity factors could not be used until 2015.
“A recent study showed that agricultural land has experienced the largest property tax increase of any type of land since 2007,” said Rep. Cherry. “SB 319 is being fast tracked so that the Department of Local Government Finance and county assessors can use existing soil productivity factors to determine farmland assessment value for taxes payable in 2014.”
Each farmland assessment begins with the base rate per acre. The base rate is then adjusted by the soil productivity factor and influence factors to calculate the assessed value for the land.
“Our farmland property tax in 2002 was $12 per acre, which increased to $24 per acre in 2012,” said Rep. Lehe. “The recent drought caused significant loss in production, but assessment and property taxes owed stayed the same.”
SB 319 also establishes an interim study committee to study agriculture property tax issues.
To stay up-to-date on this bill and any other piece of legislation in the General Assembly, visit www.in.gov/legislative.