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Indiana state senators propose changing method of valuing farmland in the state

Saturday, January 30, 2010

How farm values in Indiana are determined may be changed.
How farm values in Indiana are determined may be changed.

Legislation from a state senator in Indiana was approved by a committee, which could change how land farmed by agricultural equipment is valued.

The bill, presented by Senator Brandt Hershman, would have farm values determined by an adjusted rolling average. This average would get rid of the highest and lowest values in a six-year period.

"An update is needed because state figures show farmers are currently experiencing unanticipated 'peaks and valleys' in farmland assessments based on an experimental formula crafted in 2006," Hershman said in a release.

The proposal was co-authored by Senator Luke Kenley and has gotten the support of the Indiana Farm Bureau. Using the new assessment system would stabilize land prices for farms in the state through slower growth and declines, which could be more representative of its actual value.

The value of farmland across the country has seen a steady increase since the late 1980s, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. However, that changed in 2009, when the value per acre of farm real estate dropped.

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