Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Law Raises Threshold for Farmland Tax Breaks

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Law Raises Threshold for Farmland Tax Breaks

Article excerpt

A bill making it more difficult to qualify for a farmland tax break was signed into law by Governor Christie on Monday.

The legislation cracks down on people critics have called "fake farmers," who sell a small number of vegetables, Christmas trees or other products to get the tax break.

Under the new law, properties must produce $1,000 in revenue to qualify. The previous threshold was $500.

Sponsors of the bill said corporations and wealthy residents took advantage of the low requirement to receive tax advantages on properties that were not actually farms.

"The law establishing this program is nearly 50 years old, and it's past time to close the loopholes to make certain only real farmers benefit from it," Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, D-Camden, a sponsor of the bill, said in a statement. "Too many have taken advantage of it to the detriment of taxpayers throughout our state."

But the New Jersey Sierra Club said the change would not do much to cut down on abuse of the tax benefit for farmers. …

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