Ag Assessment Bill Cuts Paperwork

Patty Ritchie

June 17, 2011

Proposal Relieves Burdens On Local Governments, Farms

State Senator Patty Ritchie says her bill (S5159) allowing the automatic renewal of agricultural assessments will help reduce paperwork for both New York’s 35,000 family farms and local governments. The bill passed the Senate Thursday night.

“Our hard working family farmers spend too much time filling out meaningless government forms,” Senator Ritchie said. “Our local governments have too many burdensome mandates from state government. This legislation reduces these meaningless bureaucratic requirements for both assessors and farmers.”

“When I came to Albany, one of my top goals was to bring common sense to state government by reducing unnecessary paperwork and burdensome mandates,” Senator Ritchie said. “We can’t just keep doing things the same old way just because we’ve always done things that way.”

The bill will allow farmers to keep land in agricultural districts assessed as agricultural without submitting a new application every year, as long as there are no changes in acreage or eligibility rules. Farmer would be required to alert the assessor of any changes, like the sale of land or ceasing leases for agricultural purposes.

The bill was sent to the Assembly, where it is sponsored by Agriculture Committee Chairman William Magee.