For many of us, protecting farmland is an environmental concern, tied up in our livelihood and ideals. Saving farmland for agricultural use can also be of interest to the financially saavy.
In his State of the State Address last week, New York Governor Cuomo announced plans to spur economic growth in the state by reducing property taxes. “The main tax burden in New York state is the property tax. That is the tax you hear New Yorkers complaining about from one end of the state to the other,” said Cuomo. “As a matter of fact New Yorkers don’t just pay a high property tax; they pay the highest property tax in the nation.”
Keeping farmland in agriculture is a vital tool for controlling property taxes. Farm conservation group American Farmland Trust’s Cost of Community Services Studies have shown that while developed land provides more property tax revenue, the cost of public services such development requires far exceeds the tax revenue generated. Public investment in farmland conservation will be repaid as protected farms remain in agricultural production, helping maintain lower property taxes while contributing to economic growth.