HARTFORD – Legislation introduced by State Representative Vincent Candelora (R-North Branford) to assist local farmers has passed the legislature’s Planning and Development Committee, and will continue on for further action.
The legislation clarifies standing law to allow a municipal legislative body to provide an exemption from the property tax for one or more buildings used to provide housing for seasonal employees of farmers. The measure allows for the municipality to establish the amount of the exemption up to $100 thousand for each eligible building.
The exemption does not apply to the farmer’s residence, or to any historic barn or agricultural structure that is already exempt from taxation pursuant to a municipal ordinance.
“Agriculture is still very much a primary and critical aspect of life here in Connecticut, especially in North Branford, Wallingford, and other area towns,” said Candelora. “This bill clarifies the existing practice for towns to avail themselves of the exemption. It is important for towns to help the hard-working farmers who work the land and put the food on our tables.”
Portions of the bill also protect farming and farm stands from being prohibited by local zoning regulations in any area zoned to allow structures containing one or more dwelling units.
The bill, Proposed Substitute Bill 5713, An Act Concerning the Preservation of Historic Barns and Agricultural Structures, the Definition of Unimproved Land and the Location of Farm Stands awaits action by the full House of Representatives.
This session of the Connecticut General Assembly concludes at midnight on Wednesday, June 6th, 2007.