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home : opinion : letters to the editor May 23, 2017


5/17/2017 10:20:00 AM
We cannot afford to go without Ag2School

This is an open letter to Rep. Rod Hamilton and Sen. Bill Weber.
In 2016 and now in 2017, rural legislators from both sides of the aisle fought hard to create a fairer state share of school facility costs by targeting property tax relief to farm property for taxes paid on school bonds. This Ag2School 40 percent property tax credit gained broad support among education and agriculture organizations in Minnesota.
But we couldn't realize the benefit because the tax bill was vetoed last year and a special session never occurred. This cannot happen again.
Our community needs Ag2School and it is positioned again for you to bring it home.
Gov. Mark Dayton included the Ag2School 40 percent tax credit in his budget and tax proposals this session. A strong coalition including the Minnesota Rural Education Association, the Farm Bureau, Farmers Union, Corn Growers Association, Schools for Equity in Education and others locked arms at the Capitol and helped advance Ag2School to the final negotiations now underway at the Capitol.
We need you to see this through. Starting in 2018, Ag2School would deliver on average $129.30 in property tax relief per $500,000 of agricultural land value and privately managed forest land across Greater Minnesota and help improve farmers' economic outlook.
In the Windom School District, Ag2School would reduce 2018 property taxes by $108.43 per $500,000 per value of agriculture and privately managed forest land. This will total an estimated $275,434 of tax relief for farmers with land in the Windom School District.
Many schools in rural Minnesota have pressing facility needs that are necessary to provide high quality educational services in their communities. Ag2School will also create a healthier environment for communities to solve their school facility needs with a reduced financial impact to our farmers.
We cannot afford to go without Ag2School. Please don't come home without this tax credit signed into law. Our farmers, our school district, our students and our community deserve it.
  -  Joan Hunter
     Board Chair, Windom
     Public School District








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