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Genesee County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan

Genesee County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan

Agriculture

Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan Agriculture & Markets maintains an agricultural land classification system based on soil productivity. The system consists of 10 primary groups of mineral soils and four groups of organic (muck) soils. In determining agricultural assessment, the assessor multiplies the state certified assessment value for each soil group by the total number of acres within the soil group. The assessor then totals the sub-amounts and applies the local equalization rate to determine the parcel’s agricultural value. Land placed under agricultural assessment and then converted to a non-agricultural use is subject to conversion fees. These payments equal five times the taxes saved in the last year during which the land was receiving an agricultural assessment, plus 6% interest compounded annually for each year that the assessment was granted (up to five years). Ad Valorem Limitations The Agricultural Districts Law limits the taxation of farmland for certain municipal improvements such as sewer, water, lighting, non-farm drainage, solid waste disposal or other landfill operations. Land used for agricultural production within an agricultural district cannot be taxed for such improvements unless the fees were imposed prior to the formation of the district– or unless the farm structure benefited directly from the improvement district. The fees may be imposed on a one-half acre lot surrounding any dwelling or non-farm structure located on the farm’s land. In addition, the governing body of a fire protection or ambulance district may adopt a resolution to state that agricultural assessment values be used to determine the taxes levied by that district. Farmers’ School Tax Credit In 1996, the Farmers’ Protection and Farm Preservation Act created the farmers’ school tax credit. This allowed eligible farmers to obtain an income tax credit (or corporation franchise tax credit) for school district property taxes. The credit applies to school taxes paid by the farmer on land, structures, and buildings used for agricultural production in New York. Farmhouses used as personal residences do not qualify. However, some farmers may also qualify for the New York State School Tax Relief (STAR) program to receive a partial exemption on the assessment of their houses. STAR is a residential tax exemptions available to anyone in the state who meets age and/income criteria. The farmers’ school tax credit is fully funded by the state. It is neither a real property tax exemption nor is it affiliated with the agricultural assessment program. The credit does not diminish local school district revenue and does not shift the school tax burden to farmers’ neighbors. Farm Building Exemptions Several provisions in the Real Property Tax Law exempt farm buildings or structures from property taxes. Section 483 exempts new and rebuilt farm buildings for ten years. Section 483-a Columbia, MD 7

Genesee County, New York exempts entirely certain agricultural structures from taxation, including farm silos, feed grain storage bins, commodity sheds, bulk milk tanks and coolers, and manure storage and handling facilities. Section 483-c also exempts temporary greenhouses. The Real Property Tax Law also offers a limited exemption for the rehabilitation of historic barns. Local governments and school districts may authorize a 10-year exemption for the increase in value to a reconstructed or rehabilitated barn. This does not apply to buildings that have already received exemptions, to barns used for residences, or to renovations that alter historic appearances. Local Tax Abatement EXAMPLES IN NEW YORK STATE: The towns of Perinton, Penfield and Webster in Monroe County have enacted local tax abatement programs in exchange for term conservation easements. Authorized by Section 247 of the General Municipal Law, these programs offer reductions in property taxes to participating landowners. In Saratoga County, the town of Clifton Park recently enacted a local tax abatement program for owners of 15 or more acres of farmland or open space who agree to keep their land in farming, or open, for at least 15 years. Two adjacent landowners can apply if their combined acreage meets the 15-acre minimum. Landowners who convert their land prematurely face penalties. In Clifton Park, most commercial farmers–already eligible for agricultural assessment and the Farmers’ School Tax Credit–have not participated in the new local program. The 15-year minimum term may have inhibited participation, especially since the farmers are already receiving the benefits of agricultural assessment. Nevertheless, more than 1,437 acres were approved for the program in its first year of existence, including 741 acres of farmland. This farm acreage, mainly ineligible for agricultural assessment, will remain in agriculture and may provide a buffer for the town’s remaining commercial farms as development encroaches. RIGHT-TO-FARM “PACKAGE” The continued development of agricultural areas has increased the potential for conflicts between farmers and their neighbors. In 1992, the Agricultural Districts Law was amended to add a limited defense for farmers against private nuisance lawsuits. Commonly referred to as the rightto-farm law, all 50 states have enacted some kind of nuisance protection law. Generally, these provisions aim to strengthen the ability of farmers to defend themselves in a nuisance suit brought by a neighbor or local government. Right-to-farm laws also may be used to shield farmers from excessively restrictive local laws or to ward off intrusive and unwanted public infrastructure. Right-to-farm provisions can improve the viability of farm businesses since a “farm-friendly” local business climate can allow farmers to invest more in the future of their operations. 8 Agriculture and Community Development Services, Inc.

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    Genesee County: Agricultural Develo

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    Genesee County: Agricultural Develo

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    Genesee County: Agricultural Develo

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    Genesee County: Agricultural Develo

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    Table of Contents Introduction 2 Me

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    Methods The methods used to prepare

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    Summary (continued) As Genesee Coun

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    Genesee County Gross Farm Sales Reb

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    Dairy and Cattle Sales Fuel Growth

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    Genesee County Farm Expenses Grow M

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    Farm Income Strength Keeps Farmers

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    Real Farm Real Estate Values Slide

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    Farm Cropland Falls Modestly in Gen

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    Dairy Farm Numbers Plummet. Number

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    Dairy Farm Size Expands in Genesee

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    Traditional Crops - Harvested Acrea

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    Specialty Crops - A Few Crops Domin

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    Specialty Crops - Greenhouse Produc

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    Number of Firms 30 25 20 15 10 Grow

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    Genesee County Farming Sectors’ O

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    Farming Sector Employment for Genes

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    Farm Output Multipliers for Genesee

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    Expenditures by the Vegetable Farm

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    Appendix: IMPLAN Analysis and Resul

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    Genesee County: Agricultural Develo

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    APPENDIX B: Project Contact List Ma

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    APPENDIX C: AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMEN

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    APPENDIX C: AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMEN

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    APPENDIX C: AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMEN

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    APPENDIX C: AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMEN

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    APPENDIX C: AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMEN

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    APPENDIX C: AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMEN

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    APPENDIX C: AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMEN

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    APPENDIX C: AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMEN

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    APPENDIX D: INDUSTRY PRACTICES Dair

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    APPENDIX D: INDUSTRY PRACTICES For

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    APPENDIX D: INDUSTRY PRACTICES Equi

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    APPENDIX D: INDUSTRY PRACTICES •

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    APPENDIX D: INDUSTRY PRACTICES •

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    Genesee County: Town of Byron Cost

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    Genesee County: Town of Byron Cost

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    Genesee County: Town of Byron Cost

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    Genesee County: Town of Byron Cost

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    Genesee County: Town of Byron Cost

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    Fire District 1 46,500.00 41,850.00

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    EMPLOYEES State Retirement 500.00 7

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    Town of Byron Revenues 2000 Revenue

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    APPENDIX C: SWOT ANALYSIS Stable La

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    APPENDIX C: SWOT ANALYSIS Developme

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    APPENDIX C: SWOT ANALYSIS Labor: Th

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    APPENDIX C: SWOT ANALYSIS has also

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    APPENDIX C: SWOT ANALYSIS especiall

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    Sweetland Road Sumner Road Orleans

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    #· W E S Source: Genessee County P

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    Tonawanda Indian Reservation 5.3% A

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    Harlow Road Simonds Road Bethany Ce

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