Governor Signs Important Pro-Farmer Legislation Supported by Senator Young

Catharine Young

October 24, 2013

For Release: Immediate, October 23, 2013

Legislation supporting farmers signed on the heels of Farm Bureau’s naming of Senator Young to its "Circle of Friends"

ALBANY - Following the recent naming of Senator Catharine Young to the New York Farm Bureau’s prestigious 2013 “Circle of Friends,” New York’s farmers scored a major victory in the fight to keep taxes down when Senator Young’s two percent cap on annual agricultural land assessments legislation was signed into law.

The “Circle of Friends” recognition, which the Farm Bureau based on Senator Young’s voting record on issues of agricultural importance and her sponsorship of legislation that helps local farmers, was fittingly reinforced as the Governor approved Senator Young’s bill that will save farmers from thousands of dollars in tax increases every year.

“Family farms are struggling to stay competitive in New York State, and no one has been hit harder by skyrocketing property taxes than our farmers. This tax assessment cap will go a long way in alleviating the burden, and I am proud to have worked alongside the Farm Bureau in achieving this goal. The Farm Bureau does a terrific job of advocating for positive policies that support agricultural community needs and I will continue to partner with them in pushing for measures like the two percent agricultural land assessment cap so that our local farmers are in a position to succeed now and in the future,” said Senator Young.

The two percent cap will protect farmers from crippling and unsustainable tax hikes due to jumps in assessment values of agricultural lands. Prior to this new law, which took effect immediately, the annual change in the base agricultural assessment property value could not rise beyond 10 percent. This law brings that limit down to a much more manageable two percent, ensuring significant relief and greater predictability for farmers.

Farm Bureau President Dean Norton said, “The selected lawmakers were chosen for their commitment to the hard working farm families in New York. Each friend has demonstrated that they understand the importance of agriculture to the people of their legislative district, and how farming significantly impacts the economy of this great state.”

In addition to the passage of the cap on increases in agricultural assessments, other important legislative priorities addressed by Senator Young this year include her efforts to reduce the regulatory burden on family farms, initiatives to promote locally grown New York farm products, and adoption of the Lake Erie Wine Country Trail designation to market locally grown wine and expand tourism.

“We are making progress towards New York being a more affordable place to live, work and do business. A vibrant economy and more jobs brings more opportunities for our families. These initiatives will strengthen our rural areas,” Senator Young said.

The New York Farm Bureau, the state’s largest general farm advocacy organization, works closely with the State Legislature to strengthen and enhance the agricultural industry in New York State.