In a seemingly never ending quest to better understand the complex world of property taxes, we went down the ‘rabbit hole’ known as CAUV. Our current State Representative Ron Young, proudly proclaimed that he was able to secure property tax savings for the farmers, nurseries, and vineyards of Lake County. We all love farmers, but our antenna went up because like the law of gravity (what goes up must come down), LFC’s law of property taxes says – if anyone gets a reduction in their taxes, someone else is picking up the tab. [not quite as catchy as the law of gravity – but you get the idea]
Let’s first define it for you:
CAUV = Current Agricultural Use Value
For property tax purposes, farmland devoted exclusively to commercial agriculture may be valued according to its current use rather than at its “highest and best” potential use. This provision of Ohio law is known as the Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) program.
We sent an email to our favorite Auditor, Mr. Ed Zupancic, and received this response.
Thank you for your patience in waiting for a response, which allowed us time to contact Representative Ron Young’s office and the Ohio Farm Bureau both of whom were key players in HB49, which changed the formula for CAUV.
To answer your question: “If the farmers get a reduction in their property taxes, does that mean that the homeowners will see an increase in their property taxes, without even a vote, to cover the lost tax revenue from the farmers?” We are unable to provide specifics, because we are unsure which CAUV parcels will complete the necessary steps to receive the benefit. In addition, we cannot tell what extent the value would affect the taxing district, as we are not fully aware of all offsetting Board of Revision, Board of Tax Appeals, demolition and other changes that would also effect the abstract that would play a part in the overall change to district value.
In addition, we are unaware of possible other offsetting items that may have been placed in HB49 by legislatures. We would suggest reading some of the articles in the links below provided by the Ohio Farm Bureau who seems to have spearheaded this reform.
As to your 2nd question: “If we are correct, we would like to know the estimated total credit given to the farmers, and what impact it will have on the taxpayers that own residences in Lake County.”
Generally, there are CAUV properties in the eastern part of the County. The individual districts possibly would see a change in their district value depending on what we mention above, however, we are unable to tell, thus we are unable to provide an estimate. The Ohio Farm Bureau and Ohio Legislative Service Commission have provided some information at the link below and attached that you may find helpful.
Lastly, our office was able to provide the following data for your reference.
CAUV Total Value Difference from 2018 to 2017: -10.76% (Please note that this percentage is CAUV only. There are 906 CAUV parcels from over 92,000 residential parcels in Lake County.)
There are 5 less parcels in 2018 then there were in 2017.
I hope this information provides you with the answers you seek.
Edward H. Zupancic
Lake County Auditor
(LFC Comment: The CAUV parcels are only .98% if the total 92,000 parcels in Lake County. Although, Mr. Zupancic could not provide firm numbers, we are still holding to our “law of property taxes”, but the impact on the individual homeowner probably is negligible. The nurseries, vineyards, and farmers have their lobbyists, but who is looking out for the average homeowner?)