Ohio Farm Bureau members engage with legislators in Columbus

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Director of State Policy says their annual Ag Day at the Capitol serves as a reminder lawmakers are listening to farmers.

Evan Callicoat tells Brownfield members took part in a leadership panel with key lawmakers in Columbus this week.

“Property tax has been a huge thing in our state, for probably the last six to eight months, having huge increases across nearly half of our state and the legislature really listened,” he says. “We talked a lot about that, the efforts that they’re trying to look at for that, also talked a lot about H2Ohio.”

He says the eminent domain reform bill, HB 64, has been through two legislative sessions and Farm Bureau continues to advocate for its passage.

“If you think somebody has taken your property and they didn’t follow the process, you should be able to try to rectify that,” he says. “Ohio is the only state in the country without this process.”

Callicoat tells Brownfield members want lawmakers to understand the importance of the Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) program as the state undergoes a property tax review process.

“It’s our number one farmland preservation tool,” he shares. “We’re really watching to make sure whatever recommendations that they may have for property taxes, that the CAUV program is protected if not strengthened going forward.”

The CAUV program allows farmland to be taxed at a rate reflecting its value for agricultural purposes instead of its value as development property.

Callicoat says promoting a strong business climate, creating a responsible regulatory environment, preserving Ohio’s farming heritage, building healthy rural communities, and engaging in grassroots advocacy are the organization’s policy priorities for this year.

Photo courtesy of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.

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