DENVER (CBS4) – Lawmakers are one step closer to closing a loophole that allows people who aren’t farmers to get agricultural tax breaks.
The bill passed out of the Agriculture Committee on Monday. It’s aimed at eliminating what some jokingly refer to as “rent a cow” — a loophole that allows homeowners on big lots to enjoy big tax breaks by simply housing a farm animal, for example.
Posh Cherry Hills Village and Englewood are among the areas where homeowners have taken advantage of the loophole.
Tax bills that would have been tens of thousands of dollars go down to one or two dollars in some cases.
“There’s a problem when we have someone who lives in a $5 million house and pays less than someone in inner city Denver,” said Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs.
“We think there are unintended consequences to our farming community and legitimate farmers may end up getting additional taxes based on this bill,” said Barbara Kirkmeyer, Weld County Commissioner.
Massey’s bill specifically goes after the land under and around a home. It says if that land isn’t integral, in other words, if the homeowner isn’t involved in farming, they no longer get the ag land tax break.