Greetings, My Fellow Missourians

On Tuesday, I went to Jefferson City to attend the State Tax Commission Public Hearing. The discussion was on the Agricultural Land Productivity Values for 2021-2022 Assessment Cycle. Every two years the Missouri State Tax Commission reviews Ag land to make changes, up or down based on a 10-15 year overview, not based on value but on productivity. They look at profit margins to determine if the taxes should be raised, lowered or stay the same. 

Dr. Scott Brown from the Markets and Policy Division of Applied Social Sciences at Missouri University gave a presentation on the methodology used to calculate the Missouri agricultural use values. 

*Use a 15-year historical moving average of crop and cow-calf returns

*Crop returns for 6 crops weighted by state acreage totals

*Prices used are USDA average prices received by Missouri farmers

*Costs are reported USDA production costs excluding land for the Heartland region which included Missouri

*2019 agricultural use value estimates based in small part on the University of Missouri’s current outlook

*The 2019 agricultural use value depends on data from the 2005 to 2019 period

Many other Missouri Associations were in attendance including Missouri Farm Bureau, Cattleman’s Association, Pork Producers, Corn Growers and Soybean. They presented their point of view to encourage no increase. Matt Hardecke, Treasurer of the Missouri Cattleman’s Association, laid out solid reasoning to the Missouri Tax Commission as to why a tax increase on agricultural land is ill-advised. “Feeder cattle have lost tremendous value over the course of a year. As you know, Missouri is the third largest cow/calf state in the nation and producing feeder cattle is our specialty. Many cattle producers are upside down because of the sudden and dramatic fall in cattle prices following the fire in a Tyson processing facility in Holcomb, Kansas, where fat cattle moved sharply lower and prices for feeder calves plummeted literally overnight. The financial woes do not reside within one segment of the industry. It impacts the entire chain and causes lending institutions a high level of uncertainty as equity dwindles across all balance sheets.”

Even though my reason for traveling to Jefferson City was mainly to attend the Tax Commission on Ag Land, I did make time for some appointments. I met with MoDOT to discuss several issues. First, I wanted to address the disappointment several constituents have shared with me in the recent overlay of chip and seal on 7 Highway west of Warsaw. The complaints are basically that of loose gravel and chipped windshields. Secondly, we discussed the need to for all motorists to pull over to the opposite lane when someone is on the shoulder of the highway. I recently went to Springfield and had to pull off to the side of the highway to adjust ratchet straps, even in the blowing rain, cars zoomed passed me without pulling into the opposite lane. Currently the law states that drivers must pull to the other lane for law enforcement, first responders and MoDOT workers. Lastly we talked about getting a historical marker placed 12 miles southwest of Warsaw at the junction of Highway 83 and EE Highway. I would like to see a directional marker placed there to point travelers to the historic site of the Shiloh Skirmish Monument, a battle which occurred during the Civil War.

While at the Capitol, I met with House Research to discuss the details of naming the Osage River arm of Truman Lake on 13 Highway at Osceola the Charles Bourland Memorial Bridge.

Lastly, I spoke with Aaron Jefferies from Missouri Conservation to discuss some legislation I am purposing. I want to increase the penalties for transporting, moving or letting loose feral hogs, define feral swine in a way that they retain their designation as feral and can not include any heritage swine and protect the ownership, possession and transportation of heritage swine.

Interim hours: Now that Session is over for 2019, I will be back in the District full time. If you need any assistance my Legislative Assistant Amy Helton will continue to be in my Capitol office Tuesday-Thursday and will be happy to help you.

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