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Use-Value Helping to Preserves Farmland
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/13/2014

The state's largest farm organization is crediting the decade-long use-value assessment law for saving millions of dollars in property taxes and preserving acres for agricultural use. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau said last week that the number of acres of farmland diverted to other uses has fallen steadily since 2000.

Citing figures from the Wisconsin Agricultural Statistics Service, about 4,200 acres of farmland were diverted to other uses during 2011. That's compared to 1993 when nearly 91,000 acres of farmland were sold and diverted to other uses.

"The use-value law remains the best tool we have to keep farmland in production rather than being sold off to recreational or developmental pressure," said WFBF President Jim Holte. "Wisconsin farm families have seen savings of over $400 million annually and $4 billion in total since the use value assessment law was enacted in 2000."

He adds that from a global perspective, the world's growing population coupled with a limited supply of good farmland underlines the importance of keeping Wisconsin's rich soils in production agriculture.

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