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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Joe Schomacker (R)

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Friday, February 13, 2015

ST. PAUL – Many farmers have been facing an unwanted predicament over the past few years when it comes to supporting capital bond levies, especially as it relates to schools. Some may want to support the proposals, but if they do they know they will pay ten times more than a city homeowner due to the amount of land on which they work.

Because of this, State Representative Joe Schomacker (R-Luverne) is co-authoring the Minnesota Family Farm Protection Act.

“I signed onto this bill to help call attention to the way ag land has skyrocketed over the last decade and to recognize that current property tax formulas don't address land value changes,” Schomacker said.

The bill would exempt farmland from capital bond levies and limit future property tax liabilities to a farmer’s house, garage, and one acre of land. State law already makes this recognition for school operating levies, but under the proposed legislation construction levies offered by schools, cities and counties would also be subject to the house, garage and one acre provision.

Schomacker noted that the goal of the bill is to end disproportionate taxation between residents who live in the city and the country, especially since rural landowners have seen a 130 percent increase in property taxes during the last decade.

“I hope that this proposal will be a starting point to encourage the real reform we need in this area,” Schomacker said. “If we do nothing, we are putting up greater hurdles to the next generation of ag producers.”