Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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October 22, 2013

Cap enacted on farmland value hikes

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday signed into law a measure that limits increases in agricultural land assessments to 2 percent per year.

The new law reduces the prior cap, which was 10 percent per year, according to Cuomo's office.

Statewide, the base assessed value of farm land nearly doubled in the past seven years. That coupled with increases in municipal and school taxes had made a "difficult" business climate for some farmers, the governor's office said. Roughly 25 percent of all land in New York is tied to farming.

“Protecting our farmers from unsustainable tax hikes is part of our work to change our state’s reputation as the tax capital of the nation by controlling spending while reducing the tax burden on New Yorkers,” Cuomo said in a press release announcing the law. “Agriculture is big business in New York and our state government is committed to doing everything we can to help this vital industry thrive and continue to create jobs and economic prosperity, particularly upstate.”

In the Senate, the bill was co-sponsored by state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane.

“This new law helps control assessments and therefore property taxes,” Maziarz said. “We are striving to make it easier to keep farms in operation, and we can do that by preventing them from drowning in a tidal wave of new taxes.”

The law takes effect immediately.

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