Landowners interested in learning about new valuations in Seneca County on the Current Agricultural Use Value of land are invited to attend a workshop 7-9 p.m. Sept. 27.
Co-sponsored by the Seneca County auditor and Seneca County Farm Bureau, the meeting is to take place at Department of Jobs and Family Services conference room, 3362 S. TR 151.
Featured speaker is to be Larry Gearhardt, director of local affairs for Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.
Gearhardt has been involved with Ohio Department of Taxation on updating CAUV valuations and plans to explain the effects the formula is to have on land's taxable value or the property tax bills of individuals. The updates have been under way statewide since 2009, and now have reached Seneca County. The changes cause increases for the majority of soil types enrolled in CAUV.
Established in 1972, CAUV allows qualified agricultural land to be valued at its current agricultural use value for real property tax purposes rather than fair market value.
Seneca County Auditor Julie Adkins said new valuations were mailed by her staff last week, but landowners can get an idea of their valuation if they know their soil type by visiting her website, www.senecacountyauditor.org, and clicking on "CAUV values per acre" part way down the page.
For example, the website shows the owner of a farm with Belmore soils has been paying $100 per acre since 2002, but now must pay $410 per acre. Another example shows Hoytville soil going from $780 per acre in 2008 to $1,770 per acre. And owners with Millsdale soil have been paying $500 per acre since 2008, but now are to pay $1,290.
CAUV calculations are based on a formula that takes into account the last seven years of crop prices, crop yields, non-land production costs and capitalization rates to determine the net profit per acre for each of the 3,560 soil types in Ohio.
The formula is based on five factors applied to corn, soybeans, wheat and hay. The factors are cropping patterns, crop prices based on a survey of elevators, crop yields based on Farm Service Agency yields per acre for each soil type, non-land production costs based on farmer surveys by Ohio State University and capitalization rate based on the interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage at Farm Credit Services.
County auditors are required to reappraise every parcel of land every six years to establish fair market value, and must adjust property values based on sales of property in the county every three years. Ohio Department of Taxation annually determines and sends CAUV values to county auditors.
While increases might seem large this year, Gearhardt said in a written online explanation that the formula changes every few years.
"Its purpose is not to guarantee the lowest values for landowners, but to accurately reflect what is happening in the farming community," he said.
Gearhardt said the same formula gave Ohioans the lowest values in CAUV history in 2005, which is one of the reasons the increase seems large. Since 2005, land values have been increasing.
"It doesn't take much of an increase to represent a 200 percent to 300 percent increase over those low values," he said.
One of the biggest factors in this year's increase is an adjustment of crop yields, Gearhardt said. In 2005, it was discovered the federal FSA hadn't adjusted its crop yields data since 1984. When adjustments started in 2006, it led to increased CAUV value.
Despite increases, Gearhardt said CAUV is important because landowners still pay taxes on only 20-25 percent of the fair market value.
Adkins said anyone not able to attend the meeting can listen to it on Seneca County Radio at senecacountyradio.
com. She said she also hopes to videotape the meeting.
To view an OFBF interview with Gearhardt, go to www.youtube.com and search "Larry Gearhardt OFBF."
Participants are asked to register in advance by calling (877) 447-3091.
Landowners who think new values are incorrect can schedule an informal hearing with Board of Revision by calling (419) 447-0692 no later than Friday. Hearings are to be scheduled Monday through Oct. 7.