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Property taxes are too high for New York farmers.

That’s the message from the New York Farm Bureau and a bipartisan group of state legislators who are promoting tax relief for family farms.

At a press conference Tuesday, Assemblyman Steve Hawley detailed a bill that calls for capping agricultural land assessments at two percent to mirror the relief afforded to other property owners. The current cap of 10 percent is the second highest in the nation and consumes 15 percent of a farm’s net income on average. Assessment values per acre have increased every year since 2007, creating a growing burden on family farms.

“Whether you’re an ag business (or) another type of small business,” Hawley said, “family farms are the core of our economy in the state of New York – still the No. 1 industry – and we need to do all we can to (a) keep those who are farming here in New York profitable and able to continue to the next generation can follow suit and (b) we need to make it as easy as we can to, for those who actually want to start in agriculture, to move into New York State.”

Hawley has been a member of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture since his election in 2006 and is a co-sponsor of Assembly Bill 165.

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