Governor signs soil productivity fix into law
SEA319 is the first legislation from the General Assembly
Wednesday,February 27 is a day to remember for both Gov. Mike Pence and Indiana Farm Bureau. The governor’s signature on SEA 319, his first bill signed into law, gives some degree of tax certainty to Hoosier farmers for another year.
Passed and signed before the halfway point of this legislative session, SEA 319addresses the unreasonable increases in the state’s soil productivity factor proposed by the state’s Department of Local Government Finance. The soil productivity factor is one component in the complex calculation used to assess property tax.
The bipartisan bill passed unanimously in both the House and the Senate. Today’s signing was the last step in the process that the non-partisan Legislative Services Agency estimates will save Indiana farmers $57.4 million in property taxes. SEA 319 was fast-tracked so it could be enacted before the March 1,2013, assessment date.
The bill will retain the long-standing soil productivity factors for the 2013 assessment (pay 2014) of farmland. It also directs the Department of Local Government Finance, in cooperation with the Purdue College of Agriculture, to develop and submit to the General Assembly recommendations and justifications for any proposed changes in the methodology used to establish soil productivity factors that adjust the base value of farmland.
IndianaFarm Bureau thanks Gov. Mike Pence and Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann for making the soil productivity factor fix one of their top legislative priorities. We also thank House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long for fast-tracking the bill, and the entire Indiana General Assembly for its quick and unanimous passage of the language.
Particular thanks go to Sens. Jean Leising, Greg Walker, and John Waterman, who authored the bill, and the House sponsor and co-sponsor, Reps. Don Lehe and Bob Cherry.