Stratagizing Land Loss
So, to be able to sit around the table and have conversations in a way that is able to provide a means for farmers and ranchers to continue to do what they do and to make a living, to be profitable and yet provide an opportunity, I guess if some so desire to plant houses, then that’s what happens. But there’s even ways there that we can grow in areas that may be less productive land and looking at areas that don’t affect the most productive land that we have,” said Searle.
Besides encouraging home development on less productive land, they’re also looking at ideas from other states like agricultural preserves with lower property tax rates based on generated income and not market value. Winegar says their hoping to take the best of what other states have done and find a solution that fits Idaho.
“Lots of other states have done things, namely California with the Williamson Act. That’s the tax incentives to do it. There are states that reward people for keeping it in Ag,” said Winegar. “There’s lots of other possibilities. The tax incentive thing is the one that we’re leaning towards, but there also has to be a way to fund it as well.”