Tax increase means tough year ahead for local farmers

Farmers in Vernon Township, Ohio met to discuss how they are going to work through new tax increases.

VERNON TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – Farmers across the state who participate in a real estate tax assessment program in Ohio are seeing their taxes double this year for the first time ever.

Robert Evans rents out part of his 66-acre farm in Vernon Township. He was shocked when he recently got his property tax bill. He said it increased from $650 last year to $1,100 this year.

Evans is not alone. Farmers in Mahoning and Trumbull counties who participate in the Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) saw double or triple increases. Deputy Trumbull County Auditor Bob Senvisky says it’s because their agricultural value is higher than the market value which was averaged out over a seven year period from 2006 to 2013.

“The farmers benefited from some really high grain, corn and soybean prices so they are now being reflected in this 2014 tax year even when soybeans and corn are really down,” Senvisky said.

State Representative Sean O’Brien, who sits on the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee in Columbus, said it was a perfect economic storm. O’Brien says they are working with the farm community to address the problem. Which includes looking at the CAUV formula.

“We have tried to look at it at the state level but so far we haven’t been able to come up with a better solution. We are still going to continue to look, but this year and next year it is probably going to be difficult times,” O’Brien said.

But for some farmers, they may already have decided to pack it in before a solution is found.

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