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Lawmakers Aim To Repeal Changes To Green Acres

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(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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