Determining the value of farmland

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The assessed value of farmland is determined by a formula based on the productive value of the land. For purposes of determining that productive value, farmland is broken down into eight "grades," the first being most productive, the eighth least productive.

The value of those classes of land is based on recommendations from the Missouri State Tax Commission. The commission evaluates the rate every two years with the help of research done by the University of Missouri's Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI).

Research done this year by FAPRI showed that, at the current rate, owners of land in the first four agricultural classes are paying taxes based on a rate that is lower than the land's productive value.

The research also showed that in some recent years farmers were actually paying a higher rate than the actual productive value.

With its vote, the Missouri State Tax Commission chose to recommend no change in the productive value of farmland for 2009-2010. The state legislature can decide to change the rate on its own.

-- Matt Sanders

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