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Indiana Senate panel endorses farmland tax relief bill

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – An Indiana Senate committee has endorsed a measure sought by farmers upset by rising taxes. The measure would postpone a property assessment change that could increase farm taxes even more.

The Senate Agriculture Committee voted 6-0 Monday for a bill that would require property assessors to use 2011 soil productivity factors in this year’s land value determinations.

The nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency says using updated 2012 soil productivity factors would increase Indiana’s farmland value assessments by 25.5 percent.

But The Munster Times reports that if the bill becomes law, the assessed value of Indiana farmland would drop 5.9 percent while property taxes that otherwise would be paid by farmland owners would shift to homeowners and businesses.

The bill heads next to the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee for consideration.