|Posted:||June 23, 2017 11:21 AM|
|From:||Representative Bryan Cutler|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Agricultural Preservation Funds Use (updated version)|
|Under the Agriculture Area Security Law, counties, townships and private land trusts can participate with the state in preserving farmland. Preservation efforts are coordinated and administered by the counties and there are currently 58 participating counties. The state allocates funds to the counties based on a formula that includes the percent agricultural production of the county, its realty transfer tax and any locally appropriated dollars.
Land trusts are an important partner in the farmland preservation effort. I will introduce legislation which will direct a portion of the state-allocated farmland preservation funding to be set-aside annually for use by land trusts to preserve farms. The use of these funds will not require the county to be a party to the agricultural conservation easement, but land trusts will have to provide matching dollars to be reimbursed for the purchase costs of an easement. If a land trust ceases to exist, any easements purchased with state-allocated dollars will be transferred to the county or the state.
Land trusts could leverage state dollars to garner private contributions from agri-businesses, lenders, private citizens and ultimately give us a better return on investment. Land trusts also have a history of success in working with the plain sect community, which is often reluctant to work with government.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation….
CO-SPONSORS OF MY PREVIOUS MEMO WERE: Freeman, Millard, Fee, Hickernell, Mentzer, Godshall, Greiner, Wheeland, Harris, Gillen, Zimmerman
Introduced as HB1689