The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports


February 21, 2014

In Your Opinion: Taxes are never simple for farmers

Concerning the legislation passing to cap raises in agricultural land taxes at 2 percent per year on eligible land in agricultural districts (should be assessed value, not taxes):

A bit further down the pike, when you discover your land assessment has increased approximately 8 percent and you would like to offset this increase, consult your local assessor, like yesterday or March 1, before the deadline for taxable status date. Also contact your county Real Property Tax Director for detailed information.

All farms have Class 10 Support Land, in varying amounts. Does your soil’s group worksheet show a blank space? If so, you have been hemorrhaging money for the past 20 years or more.

Structures used in agricultural production within an ag district shall be assessed not to exceed the cost of replacement new deduction for physical depreciation.

If you have any older farm buildings in use, you might be looking at tax savings in hundreds of dollars. 

Agriculture and Markets laws were designed and approved in the late 1970s to protect viable farmland and to make it possible for a young man to purchase a farm based upon the potential productivity and to survive without being taxed out of existence.

If you feel aggrieved by the assessor’s decision, you may file for relief. Here, you will be explaining complex issues to an inadequately trained panel with a “get ‘er done” philosophy. Its decision is final — no court review.

Not to worry! Now you can hire a lawyer and continue with an Article 7 proceeding, Supreme Court level. For a slight nominal fee, starting around $2,000 or more, you will have your case heard before an urban-oriented judge, sometime before the next assessment role is produced. Then it’s back to square one.

Richard Purchell


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