The continuing drain of school district revenues to servicing teacher and school district pensions will augment the need for districts to significantly increase property taxes in the future, just to sustain those services currently provided. Farmers, who already pay a disproportionate share of their income in local taxes relative to other taxpayers, will be especially hard hit by the failure to adequately address pension liability. Farm Bureau continues to believe that the burden of school taxation should be equitably shared among taxpayers, and continues to advocate for meaningful tax relief that will change the current system of taxation for school funding purposes away from one based predominantly on property tax to a mixture of taxation from several sources, including income and sales tax. Any plan to increase income or sales tax revenues for school financing must provide dollar for dollar property tax relief, and must include relief to taxation of land as well as to homestead and farmstead properties. Any tax reform legislation must also ensure, once property tax is reduced, that property tax reductions are not offset in subsequent years through increases in property taxes. Farm Bureau supports fiscally sound proposals for elimination of property taxation.
ACTION FOR PFB MEMBERS:
Contact both your Representative and Senator, especially those in the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committees, and urge them to support the commitment of appropriations for agricultural lines in FY 2017-2018 at levels at least equal to those enacted for the current year. Meaningful pension and property tax reform continue to be high priority issues for Farm Bureau and we urge support as those issues arise during budget discussions or as independent initiatives.