Column: Growing, growing, gone: Farmland assessments rising

At the end of December, Indiana’s Department of Local Government Finance calculated the base rate assessment for farmland to be used for taxes in 2015.

Predictably, the base rate increased to $2,050 per acre. That’s a 16 percent increase over the pay-2014 value of $1,760, which was an 8 percent increase over 2013’s $1,630. The base rate is the starting point for farmland assessments. Assessed value for each acre is the base rate adjusted by a soil productivity index and sometimes by an influence factor.

I mean “predictably” literally. The numbers used to calculate the base rate enter the formula with a four-year lag. To figure the base rate for 2015 taxes, the state used data on rents, commodity prices, yields, interest rates and costs for 2006 through 2011.

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