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Farm Group Pushes Tax Credits to Promote Conservation

photo of Ohio corn field

The state’s largest farmer advocacy group is pushing state lawmakers to create a tax incentive to encourage changes to farmland in the name of conservation. 

Farmers can cut down on the amount of toxic materials that run off their land and into waterways by implementing good conservation practices -- such as setting up drainage systems and buffer zones. But that could mean cutting down on their production.

Farmers are taxed based on the amount of land that creates crops, so Brandon Kern with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation says the state should stop taxing farmers for the land that they end up using to protect the environment.

“Because if you’re going to continue being taxed, if you have the benefit of your agricultural income coming off that acreage it’s a pretty tough economic decision to say well I’m still going to voluntarily take it out of production.”

Both the House and Senate have bills that include this proposal.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.