Government to Farmers: Host Same-Sex Wedding or Pay a $13,000 Fine
August 19, 2014 Leslie Ford
Should the government be able to coerce a family farm into hosting a same-sex wedding? In a free society, the answer is no. Family farms should be free to operate in accordance with the beliefs and values of their owners. But the New York State Division of Human Rights doesn’t see things this way, fining a farm family thousands for acting on their belief that marriage is the union of a man and woman and thus declining to rent out their family farm for a same-sex wedding celebration.
Farm Bureau Endorses Jeff Johnson for Governor of Minnesota
Joe Steck August 20, 2014
GOLDEN VALLEY—Jeff Johnson received the endorsement of the Minnesota Farm Bureau today, adding to his credentials as a candidate for all of Minnesota.
“I am proud to be endorsed by the Farm Bureau,” said Johnson, who was born and raised in Detroit Lakes and now lives in Plymouth.
Endorsement decisions are based upon candidate interviews and voting records that align with Farm Bureau policy. The PAC Committee is comprised of county Farm Bureau members from across the state. Democratic governor, Mark Dayton, singled-out Minnesota farmers for a special tax on their equipment repair in 2013. Read Full Story Here!
Farmers Hit Back on EPA Reg With Parody to Disney's "Frozen"
Farmers are hitting back against a rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency in what might be considered an unexpected way: with song.
In a parody song set to Disney’s “Let It Go” from the popular film “Frozen,” Kacey and Andy Clay, along with their three young children, decry the “Waters of the U.S.” rule that would allow the EPA to regulate water in small ponds and ditches, as well as rainwater flowing through some low spots, in a similar way to how it regulates larger bodies of water like rivers.
The rule, according to the Missouri Farm Bureau, poses “a serious threat to farming and ranching, home building, energy production and other land uses.”
GOP: Many farmers see property tax increases thanks to Democrats
Published Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Huge Tax INCREASE: The facts show that most Minnesota farmers will actually pay significantly higher property taxes due to the DFL’s recent actions.
Thanks to the unprecedented tax increases that Democrats implemented on farmers last year, most of those who make their living on the land won’t even notice this alleged “relief”. It’s a lot like someone stealing $100 out of your wallet and replacing it with $10 in hopes that you’ll forget the original theft.
The Democrats are hoping farmers have short memories.
ATTACK ON FARMERS
by Minnesota Democrats
Tax increases, fees and implications affecting Scott County farmers due to the Democrat-controlled Minnesota Legislature and Democratic Governor Dayton during the 2013 legislative session
Maintenance/Repair Sales Tax -- This business-to-business tax is devastating to businesses and farmers in Scott County and rural Minnesota. Farm machinery repair services will be subject to sales tax. This means each time a tractor, combine or other farm equipment needs repair, farmers will pay a sales tax on the service, including labor charges. (HF677-Lenczewski DFL Bloomington)
Warehousing & Storage Services Sales Tax -- This is simply just another unnecessary tax on small businesses and farmers. Although farm products are exempt from this tax (corn and soybean commodity grain, etc.) the inputs used to produce these products are not. Thus warehousing fees farmers pay to store tractors, fertilizer, fuel, and other inputs will now be taxed; similarly for small businesses which house inputs off-site. This tax only serves to increase the cost of doing business and forces farmers (since their product is a commodity) to eat the extra tax liability. (HF 677-Lenczewski DFL Bloomington)
Wheelage Tax – This legislation authorizes counties to raise transportation taxes on drivers—without a vote of the people. A provision tucked into the Transportation Finance Omnibus bill allows county boards, by a majority vote, to levy a PER-VEHICLE TAX, charged at registration, of $10 per car. (HF 1444-Hornstein DFL Minneapolis)
Gift Tax with Big Implications for Farmers – This tax is imposed on most gifts made over the federal annual exclusion amount ($14,000 indexed to inflation) and the state lifetime exclusion of $1 million (not indexed to inflation).
The tax rate is a flat 10% and applies to most gifts over the exclusion thresholds. Further, for those gifts excluded from the taxation at the time of the gift, and made within three years of DEATH, ARE NOW FORCED TO BE INCLUDED IN THE TAXABLE ESTATE OF A DECEASED PERSON. THIS WILL HAVE HUGE IMPLICATIONS FOR MANY FAMILY FARMS and small businesses. (HF 677-Lenczewski DFL Bloomington)
Conservation Easements – The legislature and the governor changed how assessors may value land containing most easements. Previously, a county assessor was allowed under state law to reduce the value of property with an easement due to the limited use of the property. This reduced the property taxes paid by the landowner and incentivized easement purchases in greater Minnesota. However, this process was changed by the DFL Legislature and Governor Dayton to say the assessors CANNOT reduce the value of land holding an easement. THIS MEANS IF A COUNTY HAD PREVIOUSLY REDUCED A PROPERTY WITH AN EASEMENT, THAT PROPERTY WILL NOW BE VALUED AT ITS HIGHEST AND BEST USE (ie: productive AG land). This will result in property owners with a current easement agreement to experience a SIGNIFICANT PROPERTY TAX INCREASE AND WILL LIKELY DISSUADE FUTURE EASEMENT ENROLLMENTS. (HF 677-Lenczewski DFL Bloomington)
Property Tax Refunds – The Democrats have renamed the property tax refund program. They have renamed it the “Homestead Market Credit,” claiming that it is a reinstatement of the Market Value Homestead Credit that was repealed in 2011. The old MVHC went to every home valued under $414000, benefiting greater Minnesota. The property tax refund program however is based off a brand-new formula which will SEND MOST OF THE MONEY TO THE METRO AREA. (HF 677-Lenczewski DFL Bloomington)
Energy Price Hikes & Mandates – Under the Energy bill passed by this legislature and governor, energy prices across the state are likely to skyrocket due to several provisions. Several mandates on energy companies, including a huge increase in solar power (which is very expensive) were passed and signed into law. Because of these expensive and burdensome mandates, FARMERS AND OTHER RURAL MINNESOTANS CAN EXPECT TO SEE SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER ENERGY PRICES FOR YEARS TO COME. (HF 729-Mahoney DFL St. Paul)
3.5% Health Insurance Tax – Farmers who purchase individual health insurance policies for themselves and their families could potentially see DRASTIC INCREASES IN THEIR PREMIUMS beginning in 2014. Because of the law’s requirement that similar policies inside and outside the Healthcare Exchange be priced the same, they will be charged this NEW TAX on their insurance premiums, regardless of whether they use the Exchange. In all, farmers will pay more for health insurance, and the 3.5% tax will do nothing to bring it within reach for farmers who can’t afford it right now. (HF 5-Atkins DFL Inver Grove Heights)
Statewide General School Levy – The 2013 legislature and governor added to the property tax burden of farmers with a NEW STATE TAX ON THEIR FARM PROPERTY. Under this tax, the Education Commissioner will set a uniform property tax rate to be applied to all property in Minnesota. This means that every Minnesota farmer will now be forced to pay an additional, state imposed, property tax on every acre of land and building that they own. (HF 630-Marquart DFL Dilworth)
No-Vote Required for School Levy – Under this provision, a school board can approve $300 in local school referendum levy, without asking the voters, first. The right of property owners to vote on these school referendums has been taken away. This is a dramatic departure from current law requiring all local school levies to be approved or reauthorized by voters. This UNPRECEDENTED TAXING POWER grated to school boards COULD RESULT IN DRAMATIC PROPERTY TAX INCREASES FOR FARMERS ACROSS THE STATE. (HF 677-Lenczewski DFL Bloomington)
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