ALBANY — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced more than $36.6 million in savings for farmers across the state through the first three years of the Agricultural Assessment Cap. Governor Cuomo signed the cap into law in 2013, preventing agricultural assessments from being increased by more than two percent per year. The previous cap was set at 10 percent. By keeping assessment increases low, farmers can rely on a more predictable tax climate and better plan for the future.
“Agriculture is a key driver of the New York economy, and we are committed to keeping spending and taxes under control to help ensure the strength and growth of the industry,”Governor Cuomo said. “The savings from this cap provide significant relief to our farmers and support our commitment to protecting farmland for future generations.”
In the first year after the cap was implemented, farmers saved a total of $11 million. In 2016, total annual savings was more than $13.3 million, an increase of more than $1 million over the previous year. The Department of Taxation and Finance projects even greater savings in 2017.
Regional Savings Resulting From Agricultural Assessment Cap since 2013
|Central New York
|Western New York
More than 20 percent of the land in New York State, 7.3 million acres, is used for farming. To receive an agricultural assessment, the land must meet certain eligibility requirements and landowners must submit an application to their local assessor. The deadline for most farms to apply for 2017 is March 1. This deadline may vary depending on individual municipalities. Find more information on the program, including applications, instructions and eligibility requirements here.
Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “The Governor’s efforts to rein in skyrocketing property taxes has eased the burden on New York’s farmers, allowing them to reinvest in their businesses and helping them remain competitive by keeping costs down. As we look ahead, I encourage all eligible farmers to apply for an agricultural assessment to protect them from unforeseen hikes in their land value.”
Acting Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Nonie Manion said, “Governor Cuomo’s commitment to our state’s agriculture industry is unmatched and this effort to reduce the property tax burden for farmers is proof. These savings allow farmers to reinvest in their workforce, land, and business to nurture positive growth throughout their local communities.”
David Fisher, President of the New York Farm Bureau, said, “Securing the Agricultural Assessment Cap was a priority for our members to help control rising property taxes associated with climbing land values. It has proven to be valuable to farmers across the State. Not only has it helped to rein in rising tax bills, but the cap helps keep farmland in production, especially in areas facing development pressure.”
Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Patty Ritchie said, “In recent years, the Agricultural Assessment Cap has helped to control costs and provide a sense of stability to hardworking farmers across the Empire State. Property taxes are one of the most significant expenses farmers face, and through this cap—which I was proud to support—farmers are able to remain on their land, one day pass their operations on to the next generation and be part of the work to grow and preserve the future of farming in New York State.”
Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Assemblyman Bill Magee said, “By capping soaring agricultural land assessments at 2% we have been able to provide relief for New York’s farmers from excessive business costs, and allowing them the option to expand and invest in the growth and expansion of their farms, and helping to keep our agricultural lands in production.”
In 2011, the Governor implemented a two percent property tax cap for all New Yorkers. The tax cap is one in a series of tax relief initiatives pursued by Governor Cuomo in an effort to provide much needed relief to businesses and homeowners. As a result of the cap, property taxpayers have saved more than $800 on average. This year, the typical taxpayer is expected to have saved more than $2,100 in local property taxes.
—The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
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