Help could be coming for Nebraska farmers who can’t afford soaring property taxes

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen spoke in support of Legislative Bill 820 on Friday, saying it would be a lifeline for family farms.

Pillen says he recently received a letter from a farmer who can’t make enough income to pay his property taxes. The governor added, “That’s just wrong.”

He says the man’s 123-acre farm had been assessed at $30,000 per acre.  That’s its market value as real estate prices skyrocket.

The Agricultural Valuation Fairness Act would implement a change that assesses farm and ranch land based on income potential.

Information from the University of Nebraska, land surveys, and other sources including the federal Agriculture Department would all be used to calculate that potential.

Senator Joni Albrecht, who introduced the bill at the request of Governor Pillen says, “Nebraska is an outlier in how we value ag land.  In states such as Iowa, Kansas and South Dakota, they use the income-based assessment value to their ag land.”

If the measure passes annual increases on agricultural land valuations would not be able to exceed 3.5%.

Albrecht says it could reduce ag land valuations statewide by as much as $7.5 billion if it goes into effect next year.

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