This year, the CAUV program in Montgomery County provided an average property value reduction of 75% compared to the market value of land. The market value of 3,500 parcels reappraised in 2020 is $677 million while valued at $169 million in the CAUV program, according to the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office.
The result is Montgomery County farmers currently pay on average about $129 less an acre in property taxes than they’d otherwise be charged if not enrolled in the program, said Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith.
“We know how important the CAUV program is for our working farmers,” he said. “It has a big impact on their bottom line.”
With changes now completely phased in after six years in Montgomery County, the full impact of the 2017 reforms are clear in a report, which the Auditor’s Office touted at a booth last week at the Montgomery County Fair.
“The changes responded in the way that was anticipated and (farmers) had savings as a result,” Keith said.
Of Montgomery County’s total acreage, about 35%, or 105,000 acres, is currently enrolled in the CAUV program. Most CAUV properties are located in the western part of the county, according to Auditor’s Office records.
Half of the acres enrolled in the CAUV program are in Jackson, Clay and Perry townships. Farmland accounts for more than 12% of the total property value in four Montgomery County townships.
Montgomery County farmland
About 73% of the 105,000 acres of cropland enrolled in the Current Agricultural Use Value program is in five townships. The enrolled land accounts for more than 12% of four townships' total property value.
|Township|| Acres ||Total value %|
|Jackson Twp.|| 18,000 ||17.1|
|Clay Twp.|| 17,400 ||12.1|
|Perry Twp.|| 17,200 ||18.4|
|German Twp.|| 14,700 ||8.7|
|Jefferson Twp.|| 9,600 ||12.1|
Source: Montgomery County Auditor's Office
Between 2008 and 2014, rising crop prices caused the values of CAUV properties in Montgomery County to triple. Accordingly, while the CAUV program provided an average value reduction of 77.6% in 2008, it only offered a 34.3% reduction in 2014, according to the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office.
A three-year effort by Ohio farmers resulted in reforms to the formula, passed by the Ohio General Assembly and signed by the governor in 2017. Those changes were phased in during Montgomery County’s 2017 and 2020 reappraisals.
Both Curtis and Keith said the program is designed to preserve farmland.
“The whole idea of the program is to encourage farmers to continue to use their land for agricultural purposes rather than housing or development or subdividing it … and to continue to make a living with commercial agriculture,” Keith said.
Curtis said the CAUV program provides a buffer against economic crises that in the past resulted in the loss of cropland.
“The whole point of CAUV when it was created, and still today is a farmland preservation program,” she said. “It’s to try to keep productive farmland in production to keep that farmland operating here in the state of Ohio.”
What land is eligible?
Farmland that is at least ten acres and devoted exclusively to agriculture is eligible for tax savings through the CAUV program. Additionally, tracts of land with fewer than ten acres can be eligible if the land’s average yearly gross farm income for the past three years is at least $2,500.
Farm owners can visit www.MCAuditor.org/CAUV to apply for the CAUV program. Property owners who have questions about the program can call the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office at 937-225-4326.