Last week Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation to cap agricultural land assessments increases at 2 percent per year.
According to information provided by the governor’s office, the landmark legislation will keep farmers on their lands and help them reinvest in their operations.
“Protecting our farmers from unsustainable tax hikes is part of our work to change our state’s reputation as the tax capital of the nation by controlling spending while reducing the tax burden on New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo wrote. “Agriculture is big business in New York and our state government is committed to doing everything we can to help this vital industry thrive and continue to create jobs and economic prosperity, particularly upstate. This new law is a great example of just how far we’ve come and will help ensure that agricultural lands remain in the hands of hardworking families for generations to come.”
Over the past seven years, the base assessment value for agricultural lands has nearly doubled, leading to skyrocketing property tax increases. Prior to the 2-percent cap, the annual change in the base agricultural assessment property value could not exceed 10 percent.
The law is good news for all East End residents, according to New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. He said that the legislation will help maintain agricultural lands in both high-pressure development areas as well as rural areas, and save farmers thousands of dollars in property taxes every year.
“With agriculture such a big part of the East End community, it is important to protect our farmers from unsustainable tax hikes and ensure they that stay in business, here, on Long Island,” he wrote in a press release last week.
For more information on the agricultural tax cap law, visit governor.ny.gov.