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Farmers need to remember to tell their ‘tax story’ to lawmakers

—By Katrina Hall
State Government Relations

Indiana Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation need farmers' help in collecting photos that show how widespread the effect of the EPA's proposed "Waters of the U.S.," rule. Identifying information will not be used with the pictures. Photo above by Marybeth Feutz; photo below by Kathleen Dutro.

It’s May in Indiana, and farmers are planting – and making that trip to the county courthouse to pay their property taxes on all the land, buildings and equipment that their business cannot operate without.  Farming families know all too well about the “big check” they must write in May and November.

Now is the time to tell others just how big those checks are.

Before you file away those tax bills, make a note of the total real and total personal property tax you pay.  How many acres does that cover? Do you know how much property tax your landlords pay? You are paying a part of those.

Yes, it’s May in Indiana and farmers are in the field and putting into motion the business plans they have contemplated all winter.  Planning for success considers the opportunities and obstacles you will face.  Planning for success in the next legislative session is no different.

Our legislative opportunity is telling legislators how concerned you are about reliance on property tax and how your bills are increasing when your residential and business neighbors bills are not increasing as much.

Our obstacle is convincing legislators that property taxes for a farming operation are a problem.  There won’t be much convincing without the members of Indiana Farm Bureau shaping that story.  Relating how rapidly escalating property taxes impact you, your family and your farming operation is simply essential to legislative success.

So get out that notepad, the old-fashioned pocket style or electronic device and jot down just how property taxes are a big chuck off your bottom-line. We’ll be asking you to tell your stories very soon.

If you missed the article last month’s Hoosier Farmer, it is important for farmers across the state to be paying attention to any chatter or official notice about a proposed annexation in their area.  Please email me at khall@INFB.org with any details about annexations occurring near you.  We have a lot of work to do with legislators this summer on taxes and annexation.

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