I just read an article today about farmland prices in Stearns County, which are also ready for planting. According to this article by Kirsti Marohn of the St. Cloud Times, the value of prime farmland in Stearns County jumped 15 to 18 percent in the last year, according to the Stearns County assessor's office. The article is included below:
Area farmland fetcheshigher property value
Smaller farms could find it hard to thrive as taxes, seed prices increase
Written by Kirsti Marohn
Apr 22, 2013When some Stearns County farmers opened their property valuation notices in the past few weeks, they saw some startling numbers. The value of prime farmland jumped an average of 15 to 18 percent from last year, according to the county assessor’s office.
That means many farmers could be paying more property taxes in 2014. But despite that, there haven’t been large crowds of people showing up to local boards of appeals, County Assessor Gary Grossinger said.Grossinger said turnout at those meetings, where landowners can challenge their property’s assessed value and classification, has been “probably the lightest in my 40 years.”
That’s likely because many farmers had a profitable year last year thanks to high commodity prices, and are aware of the rising prices agricultural property has been fetching.The average sale price of farm land has increased from $4,000 an acre last year to $4,600 an acre so far this year, Grossinger said. There also have been a few sales for as much as $7,000 an acre.
“People know what the farmland’s going for,” Grossinger said. “When your neighbors sell for $7,000 (an acre) and we’ve got it on for $4,000, you’re not going to complain too much.”Notices are sent to property owners every spring, informing them of their property’s estimated market value and taxable value. That value is used to determine how much the property taxes payable in 2014 will be.
Residential and commercial land values have been flat, which probably means owners of agricultural land will shoulder a bigger share of the property tax burden.The level of spending by local counties, cities, townships and school districts also affects the final tax bill.
One significant shift has been the increasing value of large tracts of prime agricultural property, while buildable land closer to cities hasn’t been rising in value. That’s due to the lack of interest in developing property right now, Grossinger said.“What’s selling now is good farmland,” he said.
George Hadrich, a corn farmer in Holding Township, said the rising property values are making it difficult for smaller farmers to survive. Hadrich said the value of his 270 acres jumped about 20 percent from last year, and he worries that his tax bill will increase the same amount.Although corn prices have been higher recently, so has the price of seed corn, machinery and fertilizer, he said.
“The two of us are still working part time to make things work out,” the 71-year-old Hadrich said.********************************
If you think now is the time to get your farmland appraised, or perhaps now is the time to sell your farmland, please give me a call at 320-894-7528.