Farmers, land owners talk property tax with Governor Ricketts

Published: Feb. 3, 2017 at 10:02 PM CST
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Farmers and land owners talk property taxes with Governor Ricketts at Preferred Popcorn in Chapman.

The governor wants to ease taxes for farmers and ranchers and provide long-term structural relief.

Some farmers say they support the governor's proposal to structurally change the way the state values ag land.

They add this is a perfect time to make some needed changes.

Low commodity prices makes it difficult for some farmers to pay market-based property taxes. So, the governor wants to base property taxes on the income the land produces, rather than its market value to provide more stability to farmers and ranchers.

Farmers favor putting a cap on the increase.

"The maximum amount of property taxes could go up as 3.5 percent per year, which is at least reasonable and sustainable compared to 160 something percent in ten years," Preferred Popcorn CEO Norm Krug said. "I think for me, that's the most significant about the governor's bill."

Farmers and land owners say they are happy the governor is drawing attention to this issue and they hope to see some changes.

Surrounding states currently have this system.

"This is what the surrounding states mostly use," Ricketts said. "South Dakota, Kansas and Iowa all use this, and this will help our farmers and ranchers be more competitive and really control those property taxes."

The governor adds he will continue taking steps to lower property taxes. He wants to implement this bill in January of 2019.