Governor Mike Pence signs Senate Bill 319 into law as State Sen. Jein Leising (right, in red) looks on.
Indiana Department of Agriculture
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – A southeast Indiana lawmaker’s bill that would stave off property tax increase for Hoosier farmers has earned the governor’s signature.
State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) authored Senate Bill 319. It would delay until next year an estimated $57 million increase in farm property taxes. According to Leising, new soil productivity factors used for farmland assessment in Indiana could cause a 25 percent average increase in property tax payments for Indiana’s 62,000 farmers, depending on which counties they call home.
“I strongly believe this is the most important piece of legislation the General Assembly will pass for our farmers this year,” Leising said after the bill passed the House of Representatives last week.
“This summer’s drought had our rural residents and legislators on edge about the state of Indiana agriculture — one of the founding blocks of our economy. Any relief we can give to these families at this time will help them to recover, and we need to look at long-term common-sense changes to Indiana’s farmland property tax structure.”
The bill was the first from the 2013 legislative session to be signed into law by Governor Mike Pence, who began his first term as governor last month. Pence put his signature on Leising’s bill during a noon press conference at the Statehouse.
The legislation was supported by the Indiana Farm Bureau.