Statehouse Podcast: Ag Land Taxes, Summer Study And Cap On Out Of State Money

Feb 16, 2017

The Senate Taxation Committee has deferred a pay raise bill. The measure increases pay to certain care providers. Senate Bill 169 puts an extra $15 property tax per $100,000 home value. The revenue contributes to raising community care providers wage from under $11 to over $16 an hour. Community care providers aid individuals with various mental and physical disabilities with everyday tasks and treatment.

A house committee is proposing a one hundred thousand dollar cap on contributions from out-of-state groups that give funds to state ballot questions. Some lawmakers say the bill is in response to the various interest groups that spend thousands of dollars to influence state elections. Critics say it opens the state up to a lawsuit.

The Senate Taxation Committee passes a land actual use bill. The bill changes the taxing process for agricultural land. Senate Bill 142 has producer land assessed on actual use. The current system is based on best use; meaning the tax is determined on the most income the land could produce. Supporters say the bill creates a fair system that taxes on the actual producer income. They say the current system is a strict tax on income that doesn’t exist. They also say the current system doesn’t take climate into account. Opponents say the bill shifts the tax burden away from farmers. They say the bill is only fair to certain counties in the state.

Lawmakers hope to establish a task force to evaluate the state’s voter initiative and referendum process. A bill to form a study session passed the House State Affairs committee.