Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Darke County Delegates Return from Ohio Farmers Union Convention

Family farming group focused on Ohio water quality, farmland taxes in Columbus

Ted Finnarn, 2nd from the left, attending the Policy meeting at Ohio Farmers Union’s 81st Annual Convention in Columbus, Ohio
COLUMBUS – Local citizens represented the Darke County Farmers Union at the Ohio Farmers Union 81st Annual Convention in Columbus recently where delegates considered policies ranging from water quality to the wild fluctuations in farmland property taxes in recent years.

“2015 will be a very important year for farmers regarding both the Ohio General Assembly and the administration of Gov. John Kasich,” Said Todd Rhoades, president of the Darke County Farmers Union who served as a delegate to the convention. Other county members joining Mr. Rhoades as delegates were Duane Shields, Shirley Morrow, Amy Rhoades, James Zumbrink and Ted Finnarn.

OFU convention delegates passed special orders of business for 2015 including a request for Governor Kasich, the Ohio Tax Department and the General Assembly to fix problems with the Current Agricultural Use Value formula which determines what farmers pay in property taxes for farmland.

CAUV, or Current Agricultural Use Valuation, is a state tax formula instituted in the 1970s to help protect Ohio farmland by lowering the property tax bills for farmland. The program was responsible for keeping much of Ohio’s agricultural lands in production, especially in areas where rural land is threatened by urban sprawl and suburban development.

CAUV values have recently skyrocketed and farmers across the state have seen increases in their property taxes from between 50 to 300 percent over the past two years.

OFU members also approved a measure regarding ag nutrient pollution from manure and chemical fertilizers requesting state lawmakers to keep new regulations limited and targeted. OFU recommended other measures such as soil testing and maximum application rates for fertilizers of all types in distressed watersheds.

Other items on OFU’s agenda this year include preserving the rights of private property owners over those of private sector businesses with regard to pipelines, getting Ohio in line with federal laws regarding a community’s right to know what hazardous chemicals are in use at oil and gas drilling sites and preserving the guarantee for copper wire or landline telephone service for all Ohioans.

Darke County garnered four awards in this year’s state poster contest receiving three first place awards and one second place award. Students accepting these honors were Cameron and Erin Frederick of Versailles, and Alexis Slade and Luke Swenson of Greenville.

For a complete rundown of all of OFU’s policy considerations for 2015, see ohfarmersunion.org online. For information about the Darke County Farmers Union, contact Holly Finnarn at 421 Public Square, Greenville, Ohio, 937.548.3240.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Featured Posts

/* Track outbound links in Google Analytics */