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New state law caps ag land assessment increases at 2 percent per year

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Agricultural land assessments cannot increase more than 2 percent per year under a bill signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week.

This legislation will keep farmers on their lands and help them reinvest in their operations, the governor said in a press release issued Tuesday.

Assemblyman Fred Thiele said the cap, which had previously been set at 10 percent, ensures “a more predictable tax climate” for the state’s agricultural sector.

“With agriculture such a big part of the East End community, it is important to protect our farmers from unsustainable tax hikes and ensure they that stay in business, here, on Long Island,” Thiele said.

Over the past seven years, the base assessment value for agricultural lands statewide has nearly doubled, leading to skyrocketing property tax increases, according to the governor. This, coupled with increases in municipal and school taxes, has led to a difficult business climate for some farmers, the governor said.

The new legislation will help maintain agricultural lands in both high pressure development areas as well as rural areas, and save farmers thousands of dollars in property taxes every year, Thiele said.

RiverheadLOCAL file photo by Michael Hejmej