Updated: Saturday, 16 Feb 2013, 12:22 AM EST
Published : Friday, 15 Feb 2013, 10:50 PM EST
VINCENNES, IND. (WTHI) - Wabash Valley farmers are looking for state lawmakers to put the brakes on jumps in property taxes.
High commodity prices are driving up the price for farmland and along with it the taxes farmers pay on that land.
Some changes are already underway to try and adjust the taxing formula.
Planting season Knox County is still a few weeks away, but already farmers are dealing with an issue that could have a big impact on the bottom line.
Farmland values are jumping and as a result property taxes are on the rise.
"I will say our property tax bills are one of the most significant bills that we pay as a farmer," said Knox County farmer Dennis Carnahan. "It's one of our biggest bills."
Property tax caps are in place throughout Indiana, but they aren't having much of an impact in slowing down the increases farmers face.
"Even though the rates are capped and the county government is limited to what they can spend on the school and the county government our bill continues to increase because the assessed valuation increases," explained Carnahan.
When it comes to figuring the value of farmland in Indiana for tax purposes there's a rather complicated formula.
State officials say they are intending to freeze one element of that formula that covers soil productivity values, and that should help.
"On Monday we'll hear the bill that will pass and go on the governor's desk that freezes at least until all the participants, Indiana Farm Bureau, Purdue University and many, many others can look and see what that fair value is, and it's frozen until then," said 45th District State Representative Kreg Battles.
The freeze will slow down the rate of increase, but lawmakers say they need to take a much longer and more detailed look at the way farm values are assessed to keep farm taxes under control in the future.
Officials say without the freeze and adjustments taxes on farmland could have doubled in just a handful of years.
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