Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C – Batavia) today called upon the Assembly to bring to the floor legislation to provide New York State farmers with $2 million in new property tax relief.
“In light of the tax-and-spend budget that was just passed, New Yorkers need tax relief now more than ever. As the economic engine in Western New York, farmers are particularly hard hit. That’s why it is so important that this legislation be immediately addressed,” said Assemblyman Hawley.
Through the parliamentary process known as a “motion to discharge,” Hawley called on the Assembly to immediately release Assembly Bill 988 from committee. The Assemblyman stated, “Many farmers lease their agricultural lands for years, without any tax relief. This bill fixes that in order to keep these farms alive for generations to come. Additionally, this measure will significantly contribute to our economy and our efforts to preserve farmland and open space.”
Specifically, A.988 extends agricultural property tax relief to farmers who lease land for at least five consecutive years. This amounts to 100 percent of school taxes paid on land not exceeding a base acreage of 350 acres and 50 percent of school taxes paid on land exceeding that base. Hawley’s initiative would be retroactive and provide $2 million in tax relief. Despite this, the motion was defeated by a vote of 21 to 82, meaning the bill will continue to be held in the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.
Assemblyman Hawley is encouraging residents who support this initiative to write to the committee chair, Assemblyman Herman D. Farrell, Jr., and ask that he immediately bring the bill before the house for a vote. Residents can contact the chair by writing to him at Legislative Office Building, Room 923, Albany, NY 12248 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.