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Mo. lawmakers oppose farmland reassessments

Cattle pasture in Cole County, Mo.
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio
Cattle pasture in Cole County, Mo.

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Republican lawmakers say they'll oppose a recent decision to reassess property values for farmland in Missouri.

The recommendations by the State Tax Commission would raise the productive value of Missouri's best agricultural land by 29 percent.

Cal Durham is a northern Missouri farmer who says he'll be negatively impacted by the decision.

"This tax will affect our operation, as the majority of our acres are in grades 1-4...this isn't a time, we...feel, to raise taxes on any Missourian," Durham said.

But Bruce Davis, chair of the State Tax Commission, says some farmers would see tax cuts.

"It also would call for the least productive, where you have livestock, hog farmers, that sort of thing, which is more your pastureland, to actually decrease by almost 25 percent," Davis said.

Davis says that land values haven't changed in 15 years, even though farmers have been earning more from their lands.

The reassessed values will automatically take effect January 1st, 2011, unless lawmakers vote to reject them by early March.