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Those who used tractors may cost Indiana less in services

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Farmland costs Indiana governments less to support than other types of properties.
Farmland costs Indiana governments less to support than other types of properties.

Indiana farm equipment users demand less from their local governments while also providing more in taxes, according to a recent report from Purdue University.

The study, commissioned by the Indiana Soybean Alliance, showed that farming areas tend to have fewer residents, which means the demand for public services is less. Furthermore, agricultural equipment doesn't use the roads as much as that of businesses and presents another area of cost savings.

ISA board member Mike Yoder said agricultural areas produce an average of 2.5 times the tax dollars when compared to the services they require.

Larry DeBoer, a professor of agricultural economics at the university, noted that decisions regarding economic development can present a complex situation.

"This study covers virtually the entire state and uses more local data than ever before, to serve as a useful supplemental planning tool for local governments as they decide how to best allocate land and resources," DeBoer said.

However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture notes that farming areas are losing their younger populations to urban areas, which may provide greater economic opportunities.

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