Long Term – Farm Property Tax Relief
Today, every Wisconsin farmer understands and benefits of “use value assessment.” But, this property tax relief was achieved only after decades of “long term investment” in our advocacy program. In 1974, the WCA joined with other agriculture groups in helping to pass an amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution that changed the Wisconsin Constitution’s “uniformity” clause to allow agricultural land to be taxed differently than other real estate in Wisconsin. But, that was not, in and of itself, enough to secure farm property tax relief. The WCA and other agriculture groups worked with the Wisconsin legislature over the next 20 years to pass statutes to enact use value assessment in 1995. Now, after more 20 years with this law in place, use value has saved Wisconsin farmers more than $2 billion dollars in property taxes in over the 20 year period and about $150 million last year alone. Every single Wisconsin farmer benefits today and will benefit tomorrow from that decades long campaign to get – and to preserve, fair property taxes for farmers.
Mid-term – State Income Tax Relief for Wisconsin Farmers
An example of a more recent “bottom line for farmers” is the income tax credit that was recently granted to all farmers in the last several years. Beginning on January 1, 2013 the Wisconsin state income tax on income derived from farming began to be phased down from the 7.9% paid by nearly all Wisconsin citizens to 0.4% when it is finally phased in for tax year 2016. As a part of the phase in, the state farm income tax credit last year was 5.025% for income earned on your farm during 2015 (i.e., the farm income tax rate was 2.875%). This is very meaningful for you now, tomorrow, and for years to come, if the WCA, along with the rest of agriculture, can retain this tax cut by working hard in the legislature this year, next year and for the future.