Press "Enter" to skip to content

State Tax Commission votes against raising taxes on agriculture land

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The three-member Missouri State Tax Commission (STC) approved agriculture land productive values remaining stagnant for 2021-2022, meaning it will not recommend a property tax increase. 

State statute mandates the commission establish the productivity values of agriculture land every two years which could result in a property tax increase on agriculture land. A proposed increase by the STC is subject to legislative approval. 

But commissioners unanimously voted against raising the land productivity values Tuesday. 

Commissioner Victor Callahan said certain problems farmers have faced in recent years — such as flooding and a trade war with China — were not necessarily reflected in the University of Missouri study the STC used in its decision making but weighed heavily for him. 

“The problem with any formula is it doesn’t say what’s going to happen next year,” Callahan told The Missouri Times. “Agriculture has had a very difficult time, it’s an important industry to Missouri, and clearly those are pertinent factors that you need to take into account.”

Multiple representatives from farming, agriculture, and utility groups testified before the STC earlier this month against a proposed raise in the land values. They pointed to drought, flooding, and other natural disasters that have weighed heavily on Missouri farmers in recent years.

“The tough weather and financial conditions facing farmers this year, as well as the trade issues over the past two years, continued to have significant impacts across the farm economy, rural areas, and our regions economic engine,” Brooks Hurst, a farmer from Tarkio and president of the Missouri Soybean Association, told The Missouri Times. “We appreciate the State Tax Commission’s awareness of the challenges and decision to recommend no increase on ag land.”

The values are: 

  • Grade 1: $1,035
  • Grade 2: $850
  • Grade 3: $645
  • Grade 4: $405
  • Grade 5: $191
  • Grade 6: $147
  • Grade 7: $73
  • Grade 8: $30

At the hearing earlier this month, Chariton County Assessor Darrin Gladbach suggested property taxes were too low and commissioners had a legal obligation to raise productivity values if needed. 

The last time the STC approved an increase, which the legislature signed off on, was in 2015. Aside from Callahan, the STC includes Chairman Bruce Davis and Commissioner Will Kraus. 

The STC is made up of Chairman Bruce Davis and Commissioners Victor Callahan and Will Kraus.