Fann Leads Legislators In Supporting Agricultural Community

16 March 2011   Paul Boyer
Representatives Fann & Carter Protect Agricultural Community

repkarenfannRepresentatives Karen Fann (R-Prescott) and Heather Carter (R-Cave Creek) praised Governor Jan Brewer for signing HB2552, a bill that ensures agricultural property owners continue to receive the same property tax assessment they have always received up until recently. Nearly two years ago, county assessors reinterpreted certain agricultural properties as commercial properties that resulted in a tax increase for many property owners. These property tax valuations will now stay as is leading to no further tax increases upon Arizonans.

The bill had overwhelming bi-partisan support having passed the House fifty-six to two and passed the Senate thirty to zero.

Representative Karen Fann, a prime sponsor of the bill said “Arizona is proud of its rural, agricultural heritage. Why wouldn’t we want to continue to support our agricultural community?”

The properties included in this valuation are equine rescue facilities along with land and/or improvements devoted to commercial breeding, raising, boarding or training of equine. Without this statutory change, these individuals would have continued to receive the new commercial property tax valuation at a much higher tax rate.

Residential and recreational horse owners remain unchanged and still do not qualify for agricultural tax reassessment under the new law. Agricultural property owners must still meet several criteria to qualify including that the property must be primarily used for agricultural purposes, there must be a reasonable expectation of profit from the agricultural activity and the property must be in agricultural production for seven out of the last 10 years.

An economic impact study conducted in 2000 by the University of Arizona suggests the equine industry contributes $1.4 billion dollars to Arizona’s economy. “This new law is a return to an existing classification for folks that have been historically agricultural. We’re trying to keep it from being shifted onto us,” Representative Heather Carter, the prime sponsor of the bill said. “Further, these hard working individuals contribute over a billion dollars to our economy here in Arizona and is a win for all Arizonans,” Carter said.

“Representative Fann was an integral part of the process, helping move this legislation through both the House and the Senate and I appreciate her initiative in seeing this bill passed and ultimately signed into law,” Representative Carter said.