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: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PUV. 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!