FARMLAND PRESERVATION PROPERTY TAX CREDITS

The snapshot of a recent newspaper article below captures one example of the integral role Kevin has played in assisting local towns over the last few years as they have updated their land use plans and Farmland Preservation zoning. In each case, the goal has been to strike a good balance between growth and preservation.

This is the time of year when town clerks are required to submit annual reports to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) summarizing the amount of acreage that was rezoned out of Farmland Preservation in the preceding year in their town. Kevin has helped some of the newer clerks understand this process.

Farmland Preservation zoning is different in each town, and certification of local ordinances by the state followed a one to two-year process where Kevin worked with each town’s plan commission and board, with input from area farmers. As an incentive, participants in the Farmland Preservation Program can earn tax credits of $7.50 per acre. However, farmers receive no tax credit if their town does not have a certified zoning ordinance. With Kevin’s substantial assistance, 9 towns were able to be certified. (Two other towns hired consultants to assist with certification.) Below is a summary of the total impact the program had in 2018 on participating landowners in Sheboygan County.

Number of Claims in 2018 Total Amount
of Credits
Land Enrolled
280 $361,900 49,725 acres

As a result, over $300,000 is claimed by Sheboygan County landowners every year as a direct result of Kevin’s work with local towns. (The rate of town participation ranked 14th out of 72 counties.)