Indiana Corn and Soybean Farmers Celebrate Legislative Successes
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 11, 2016) — As the General Assembly adjourned last night following a ten week spring legislative session, members of the Indiana Corn Growers Association and Indiana Soybean Alliance are celebrating millions of dollars in additional funding for roads and bridges and much needed farmland property tax reform.
Lawmakers advanced Senate Bill 67 and House Bill 1001 to Governor Pence’s desk. SB67 provides $430 million in additional funding to local counties, cities and towns. HB1001 shifts some gasoline use tax money from the General Revenue Fund to the transportation fund and provides a grant program for more local road programs.
“Rural roads and bridges here in southern Indiana and around the state are crumbling, and we thank members of the General Assembly for their action to help make these much needed repairs,” said Mike Nichols, a farmer from Spencer County and president of the Indiana Corn Growers Association. “We look forward to a discussion with leaders in 2017 to address long term funding sources for our local roads and bridges.”
Members of the General Assembly also approved Senate Bill 308, providing much needed relief to farmers who have seen rising property tax bills on their farmland. Indiana farmers have seen increases in property taxes as much as 60 percent since 2008 while net farm income has dropped 55 percent in the past two years.
“With markets struggling, the farmland property tax formula penalized farmers for previous success without taking current market conditions into account,” said Jeanette Merritt, chair of the Indiana Soybean Alliance Membership & Policy Committee. “We thank lawmakers for their bold efforts in reducing this excessive burden on farmers and begin stabilizing these out of control bills.”
Both Nichols and Merritt praised lawmakers for their thoughtful consideration of these important pieces of legislation. ICGA and ISA members urge Governor Pence to sign all three bills into law.
For more information on ICGA’s activities, visit www.incorn.org/icga. For more information on ISA’s policy activities, visit www.indianasoybean.com/membership.
The Indiana Soybean Alliance works to enhance the viability of Indiana soybean farmers through the effective and efficient investment of soybean checkoff funds and the development of sound policies that protect and promote the interest of Indiana soybean farmers. The ISA is working to build new markets for soybeans through the promotion of biodiesel, livestock, international marketing, new soybean uses, aquaculture, and research. ISA is led by an elected farmer board that directs investments of the soybean checkoff funds on behalf of more than 28,000 Indiana soybean farmers and promotes policies on behalf of the ISA’s 950 dues-paying members. For more information, visit www.indianasoybean.com.
The ICGA board, which works with the state and federal governments to develop and promote sound policies that benefit Indiana corn farmers, consists of 15 farmer-directors who provide leadership to the organization on behalf of the nearly 600 ICGA members statewide. Learn more at www.incorn.org/icga.
This communications was NOT funded with Indiana soybean or corn checkoff dollars.