Governor Signs 2% Cap on Ag Assessments

Following months of hard work and advocacy by hundreds of our farmers, New York Farm Bureau is excited to see Governor Andrew Cuomo sign the bill setting a 2% cap on agricultural land assessments. In recent years, farmers have carried an increasingly heavy property tax burden that is second highest in the country and more than triple the national average. But today, we will begin to get those skyrocketing property taxes under control. The cap will limit increases of agricultural assessment to no more than two percent a year.

This does not mean farmers won’t be paying their fair share of taxes. It simply will control the rate of escalation that will make it easier for our family farms to budget for and pay their taxes. By putting pen to paper, Governor Cuomo has given another boost to our family farms that contribute greatly to both the physical and economic health of their communities, and New York Farm Bureau very much appreciates his continued partnership with us on critical economic issues.

New York Farm Bureau also worked closely with many agricultural organizations to make today a reality. In addition, Senator Patty Ritchie and Assemblyman Bill Magee ushered the bill through their respective houses culminating in unanimous bipartisan victories. To all of them, New York Farm Bureau expresses sincere gratitude for being our partners as well.

“I want to thank Governor Cuomo for his continuing commitment to farms across the state. The 2% agricultural assessment cap has long been a priority for New York Farm Bureau. It is a big step forward in reducing the increasing property tax burden that has limited our farmers’ ability to grow. It will also help young and beginning farmers as they endeavor to provide locally grown food, fuel and fiber. Today is a victory for all farmers, and this shows what can happen when we all work together for the betterment of agriculture,” said Dean Norton, President of New York Farm Bureau.

“We are very pleased that Governor Cuomo has signed this important legislation. Farm Credit East appreciates the leadership role that New York Farm Bureau took to get this done and opportunity for us to partner in building support for this bill” said Bill Lipinski, CEO of Farm Credit East.

“This legislation provides a new level of predictability and stability for financial planning in the agriculture industry, which is a very welcome change. Like other farmers, New York grape growers and wineries will benefit from this, and we are very grateful to the legislature and Governor for creating this new law. We also congratulate and thank our great colleagues at New York Farm Bureau for achieving this top priority which will benefit all farmers,” said Jim Trezise, President of New York Wine and Grape Foundation.

“Signing this legislation is yet another example of Governor Cuomo’s support of New York State Agriculture and his commitment to help farmers in NYS continue to grow to make NYS a leader in agriculture. The cap will benefit apple growers that operate over 54,000 acres of apple orchards in the empire state. We thank Governor Cuomo for signing the bill and New York Farm Bureau for working to bring this action into fruition,” said Jim Allen, President of the New York Apple Association.

“This is an important day for New York farmers. The price of farmland is ever increasing, and this legislation will help prevent property taxes from rising at an equally fast rate in the state. The New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association commends Governor Cuomo for signing this legislation, and we appreciate the hard work of New York Farm Bureau on this critical issue,” said Julia Robbins, Executive Director for New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association.

“The 2% agricultural assessment cap is vital to preserving New York's family farms. Without this cap, tax costs will escalate to an unaffordable level for the farms and force many family farms out of business,” Dale Stein, Northeast Dairy Producers Association (NEDPA) Board Director.