Lawmakers Aim To Repeal Changes To Green Acres

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Some legislators say it’s time to start over in reforming a program that holds down property taxes in rural Minnesota.

The Green Acres program is meant to protect farmers from tax increases when nearby development drives up land values. After a 2008 report by the Legislative Auditor questioned whether it was working as intended, the Legislature overhauled the plan.

One of the most disputed changes created a distinction between agriculturally productive and non-productive land, which forced owners of participating non-productive land, such as forests and wetlands, to opt for higher taxes or enroll the land in a conservation program.

At the start of three days of hearings Tuesday, sponsors of bills to undo the changes said the two rates are leading farmers to clear-cut wooded acres to avoid higher taxes.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Dave

    So in other words, it is separating the real farmers from the landowners. Farmers do not have to come up with creative measures to keep their land in tax programs.

  • Helen

    Ecologically speaking, a woods or wetland is a public service.
    I don’t understand why either should be taxed at a higher rate than farmland devoted to raising [subsidized] corn and beans.

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