SYRACUSE, N.Y.— Two pieces of legislation sponsored by State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) supporting farmland protection and property tax relief have been signed into law by Governor David Paterson.
“These new laws further assist the agriculture industry, especially in Upstate New York, by providing local farmers with additional property tax relief,” said Senator Valesky
The first piece of legislation (S. 7257) will allow farmers to receive payments from the Farmland Protection Program without hurting their eligibility for the School Property Tax Credit by counting federal protection dollars as farmable income. Currently, farmers who receive payments from the New York Farmland Protection Program, to preserve land from development, are in-eligible for the credit if they do not receive at least two-thirds of their excess federal gross income from farming. This will allow farmers to reduce their property taxes without having to sacrifice the preservation of their property.
The second piece of legislation (S. 5414A) will help protect and preserve farmland in Upstate by increasing the amount of State assistance for conservation easements from 75 percent of the cost to 87.5 percent. The increased incentives will hopefully drive up participation in the program, resulting in more protected land in Upstate.