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State extends real property tax exemption on farm buildings

Posted 4 December 2018 at 11:44 am

Tax exemptions will continue for 10 years on buildings critical to farming and horticulture

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

File photo from December 2013: A barn is the background and cattails are in the foreground in this photo taken from near Transit Road in the mucklands.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the extension of the state’s Real Property Tax Law exemption on farm buildings, which will provide continued tax relief for New York farmers and growers.

The Real Property Tax Law exempts agricultural producers from paying real property tax on buildings that are essential to the production of agricultural or horticultural products, such as temporary greenhouses, dairy barns and exercise arenas for horse-boarding operations.

“New York’s agricultural industry is a major sector of our economy, and it’s critical that we continue to support local farmers and growers,” Governor Cuomo said. “This tax exemption will help New York’s hard-working agricultural producers invest in their farms and grow their businesses, and as a result increase competitiveness and productivity for years to come.”

The Real Property Tax Law exemption was extended for the next 10 years and applies to newly constructed and re-constructed agricultural buildings through January 1, 2029. Since it was last renewed in 2008, the exemption for farm structures is estimated to have saved New York farmers more than $112.8 million.

The exemption has helped support the growth of New York’s agricultural industry by allowing farmers and growers to use the money saved to invest in their operations, purchase new equipment and modernize facilities, which increases the farms’ competitiveness and profitability.

Agricultural buildings have been exempt from state taxation for decades, but the law granting the exemption was set to expire on New Year’s Day 2019. The new law, sponsored by Assemblyman Bill Magee and Senator Patty Ritchie, amends New York State’s Real Property Tax Law to extend the tax break and ensure it will remain in effect for the next decade.

New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher said, “This law, which keeps new farm buildings off the tax rolls for 10 years, is essential to encourage new farm investment, and it will make it more economical to grow family farm businesses. The tax savings is especially important in today’s tough agricultural economy.”

The law prohibits tax increases based on the value of construction or improvement of structures that are used for essential agricultural operations. That includes the cultivation, harvest and storage of commodities; the feeding, breeding and management of livestock; and housing for farm employees. Housing for immediate family members is not covered by the exemption unless the family members are non-owners and critical to the commercial operation of the farm.

A complete list of rules regarding the exemption can be found by clicking here.

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