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Sen. Kraus opposes agricultural land tax increase


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Sen. Will Kraus (R-Lee’s Summit) will put forth a measure to reject a property tax increase on Missouri’s agricultural lands.

The Missouri State Tax Commission reassesses the value of agricultural land for property tax purposes every two years, as required by Missouri statute. The commission’s recommendations, issued on December 29, would implement a tax increase on Missouri farm land in 2017. A property tax increase would hurt Missouri’s farmers and economy, Kraus said.

“Farmers across the country are struggling because production costs keep increasing,” Kraus said. “The state does not need to add to that burden by increasing property taxes on productive land.”

The State Tax Commission’s proposed land valuations would increase property taxes the top-producing agricultural land in the state by approximately five percent. Overall, the changes would increase property taxes 5.8 cents per acre. 

The Senate has 60 days from the start of the next legislative session to disapprove of the changes made by the commission. Kraus intends to sponsor the Senate concurrent resolution that would need to pass in order to stop the increases from going into effect.

Recent conditions, both economic and weather-related, have made it a particularly difficult environment for Missouri farmers, Kraus said.

“An increase of any amount is going to have a significantly negative impact,” Kraus said. “The price of commodities is low, hurting producer’s profits. Also, we’ve seen several natural disasters, including the recent devastating flooding, that will continue to affect Missouri farmers.”

The 2016 legislative session begins January 6th.