Governor Pence Signs Soil Productivity Fix into Law

Wednesday Governor Mike Pence signed into law a bill that addresses unreasonable increases in the state’s soil productivity factor proposed by the state’s Department of Local Government Finance.

SB 319 was unanimously passed by both houses of the Indiana General Assembly.

In a statement Indiana Farm Bureau thanked the governor for signing the bill into law and thanked both the governor and Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann for making the soil productivity factor fix one of their top legislative priorities.

“This is a proud and momentous day for both Gov. Pence and Indiana Farm Bureau. His signature on this legislation, his very first, gives some degree of tax certainty to Hoosier farmers for another year,” commented IFB president Don Villwock. “And unlike the gridlock we have become accustomed to in our nation’s capital, we are proud of the Indiana General Assembly for putting politics aside in favor of helping Indiana agriculture.”

The soil productivity factor is one component in the complex calculation used to assess property tax. The measure retains 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.

IFB also thanked 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.

The bill signing is the last step in the process that the non-partisan Legislative Services Agency estimates will save Indiana farmers $57.4 million in property taxes. SB 319 was fast-tracked so it could be enacted before the March 1, 2013, assessment date.

Source: Indiana Farm Bureau

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