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Genesee County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan

Genesee County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan

Genesee

Genesee County: Agricultural Development Plan existing revenues and grant funding programs. Therefore, the County should begin an effort to create specific revenue streams in support of these programs. In addition, the County should be thoughtful about leveraging its existing and future revenues with grant resources at the state, federal, and foundation levels. The study team recommends that the County study the following revenue options: 1. Methods that capture revenue from transient populations. a. Amusement taxes/entertainment fees targeted at large tourist venues. b. Fees targeting regional communications infrastructure such as cellular taxes. 2. Methods that assess costs to new development a. Agricultural land transfer tax paid for land removed from agricultural production. b. Development mitigation fees. c. Water and sewer assessments for new developments outside of smart growth areas. d. Agricultural land preservation fee. 3. General revenue sources. a. Sales tax redistribution. b. Real estate transfer tax. c. Incentive zoning. d. Dedicated property tax assessment. 4. Other considerations a. Tax abatement. It is important to note that most communities, after being given the opportunity to study the economic, environmental, and social values of having a viable agricultural industry, are willing to dedicate, by referendum, discreet revenues to agricultural preservation and development efforts. Also, a combination of sources may be necessary to accomplish the goals of the plan. Priority Level 1: Immediate action in early program years. Cost Considerations: This recommendation requires significant in-house resources and a possible series of fiscal impact studies. Costs are estimated between $50,000 and $150,000 to run various revenue scenarios and develop legislative support information. Responsibility: Primary responsibility resides with the Department of Planning with support provided by the County Assessors Office, Cornell Cooperative Extension and the IDA. Recommendation 5: Accommodate Labor Housing Labor is one of the limiting factors in continuing agricultural industry expansion, especially as it relates to vegetable production. One of the components restricting labor is the lack of availability of migrant labor housing. The County should Copyright©, 2001: Agricultural & Community Development Services, Inc, Columbia, MD 21

Genesee County: Agricultural Development Plan support local zoning that permits higher density labor housing in proximity to consumer services and existing infrastructure. Priority Level 1: Immediate action in early program years. Cost Considerations: This recommendation would require moderate levels of inhouse staffing. Responsibility: Department of Planning and the Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board. Recommendation 6: Encourage Regional Planning and Cooperation Genesee County does not exist in a vacuum and the agricultural industry does not exist only within the context of Genesee’s political boundaries. Regional development trends, consolidation of land ownership, changes to neighboring jurisdictions’ zoning ordinances, economic development incentives, and sprawl from regional employment centers can and is impacting the County. Genesee should actively encourage its neighbors to engage in a continuing regional dialogue managing this process. This will help Genesee manage change and in some cases will promote regional programs thus reducing the cost to Genesee County. Priority Level 2: Begin program in year 2 or 3. Cost Considerations: This recommendation would require moderate levels of in-house staffing and should be within the current budget. Responsibility: Department of Planning, CCE and IDA. Recommendation 7: Advocate Increases in State Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) Funding Despite the fact that Genesee is not under tremendous conversion pressure, farmers realize that the pressure to develop is evident in surrounding jurisdictions. In fact, given the large land holdings of individuals in Genesee County, significant development pressure could surface almost instantaneously. In light of this, the County should advocate increases in state funding to facilitate the County’s ability to react to these expected changes. Once the County has established a program, increased state funding will enhance its viability. Note: Farmers view PDR as alternative financing method. Priority Level 2: Begin program in year 2 or 3. Cost Considerations: This recommendation would require moderate levels of in-house staffing and should be within the current budget. Responsibility: County Planning and CCE. Copyright©, 2001: Agricultural & Community Development Services, Inc, Columbia, MD 22

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