Monday, October 8, 2012

Property Tax Treatment for Small Farms

Dear NC farmers: The NC Sustainable Local Food Advisory Council is looking at an issue of great importance to local, sustainable food production: property tax treatment for small working farms.

As you may know, state law allows counties to tax farms at property tax rates based on their use as farms (known as Present Use Value, or PUV), instead of at higher residential tax rates.  However, to qualify for PUV based on farm use, a farm must have more than 5 acres in production in the case of horticultural crops, or more than 10 acres for any other crops. Thus many small farms are not able to take advantage of this preferential tax treatment.

The Council has set up a task force to investigate this situation and to propose changes that would allow small farms serving local food markets to reduce their property tax burdens, and task force members represent Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, NC Farm Bureau and NC Cooperative Extension, among others.  We are conducting a survey to collect more information from small farms about their experience with PUV. This is where we need help from farmers.  Please take 15 minutes to take the survey, which you can find here:  The information we collect will be crucial to proving to local and state government that small farms deserve more equitable property tax treatment.

So please help us make a difference and fill out the survey today!

Roland McReynolds

RAFI Grants for Farmers

RAFI-USA's Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund to Distribute $180,000 in Grants to Innovative North Carolina Farmers in 2013.

In 2013, RAFI-USA will award $180,000 in grants to independent family farms in North Carolina for new farming enterprises that demonstrate innovative opportunities in production, processing and marketing.  (A press release is available online here:     
This coming year, the program will award up to $8,000 to individual farmers and up to $10,000 for collaborative farmer projects.  

To be eligible for a grant, a farmer must earn at least 50% of their personal income from their farm operation.  Individuals who have received a previous grant from RAFI-USA or the Tobacco Trust Fund Commission are not eligible.   

The deadline to submit applications is December 5, 2012.       

To learn more about the program's guidelines or to download a grant application visit:  
Prospective applicants are encouraged to attend a free informational workshop. We will be offering grant information workshops across the state of North Carolina.   

"How to Apply" Workshops  (all workshops will begin at 6:00 pm.):

• Rockingham County, Cooperative Extension Office, Oct.22, 2012
Lincoln County, Cooperative Extension Office, Oct. 23, 2012
• Martin County, Cooperative Extension Office, Oct. 24, 2012
• Montgomery County, Cooperative Extension Office, Oct. 29, 2012                        
• Pender County, Cooperative Extension Office, Oct. 30, 2012
• Yadkin County, Cooperative Extension Office, Nov. 1, 2012
Chatham County, RAFI-USA (274 Pittsboro Elementary School Rd, Pittsboro), Nov. 13, 2012
• Wayne County, Goldsboro Public Library (1001 E. Ash St. Goldsboro), Nov. 14, 2012                      

Grant applications and eligibility guidelines are available online at Farmers located in the Mountain Regions are encouraged to visit for information regarding grants in their area.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email or call Joe Schroeder.

Joe Schroeder, Director
Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund
Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI-USA)
Tel: (919) 542-1396, ext. 208
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