Local News

Farmer-Friendly Legislation Celebrated

(Indianapolis, IN) - Indiana Farm Bureau is celebrating achievements on about a dozen measures it supported, including some aimed at providing cost savings to farmers, adopted this year by the state legislature.


The near four month long 2023 legislative session ended in late April. 


“We don’t take for granted the work of our grassroots during each legislative session, and this year was no different,” said Randy Kron, INFB president.


The successes listed by INFB include House Enrolled Act 419, which provides additional cost saving tax options for farmers with INFB Health Plans.


The bill also clarifies that farmers are exempt from the state sales tax on purchases of agriculture equipment used predominantly for agriculture purposes.


State Representative Jim Pressel of Rolling Prairie said the measures are designed to help farmers offset the impact of high inflation.


“We need to help them control some of their costs in being able to produce the food we all enjoy,” he said.


Pressel said the exemption is no different than what’s already offered primarily to retailers, who don’t have to pay the sales tax on goods they purchase to sell back to their customers.


“This is just to give them a little bit of relief,” he said.


Other cost relief legislation adopted in both chambers of the legislature includes Senate Enrolled Act 325, which updates the homestead standard deduction and gives more flexibility to detached buildings.


State lawmakers also approved at the request of the governor an increase in public health funding, including $225 million to make local public health departments in rural areas a priority.


Other INFB supported measures include a bill that directs the Indiana State Department of Agriculture to conduct an inventory of farmland lost in Indiana from 2010 to 2022.


That measure presented by State Rep. Kendell Culp of Rensselaer was recently signed by the governor.


Pressel said the purpose is to find out how much farmland is left in the state and whether there are any concerns over the amount of ground remaining and the rate it’s disappearing.


He said the need for an inventory is elevated because new sources of farmland loss such as construction of solar energy and wind farms along with electric battery making plants have emerged in recent years.


“I think it’s a real good idea that we have an idea of how much of that has been taken out of inventory because, honestly, I don’t know that anybody knows for certain in the whole state how much have we lost.  It’s good information for us to have locally and at the state level,” he said.


INFB also spoke favorably about it efforts behind the passage of Senate Enrolled Act 451.


The bill was contested but is now on its way to the governor’s desk following considerable discussion and compromise.


The legislation addresses a plan to inject global warming carbon captured by industries deep into the ground in the Terre Haute area to prevent the gas from escaping into the atmosphere.


Pressel said much of the issue over the measure involved farmers’ property rights and whether land storing carbon miles below the surface of farm ground still belongs to the farmer.


“With the help of our members speaking out about private property rights, reaching out to their elected officials, and the determination of our lobbying team, we were able to accomplish a huge compromise on this one including a higher compensation rate,” said Andy Tauer, INFB executive director of public policy.


Another adopted measure supported by INFB included House Enrolled Act 1454 which helps taxpayers filing assessment appeals, adds tools to fund local EMS and create more transparency on Tax Increment Financing district reporting.


The bill also requiring monitoring on residential TIF areas.


“I’m so proud of what we were able to accomplish this budget session and always impressed by how much legislators lean on INFB to advise them on bills that could impact agriculture and our rural communities,” said Kron.

Weather Center

High School Scoreboard

Sports Scores