It’s not every day that farmers and ranchers hear a legislator declare, “You win!” after they’ve testified at a public hearing at the Oregon State Capitol.

But that’s exactly what House Revenue Committee Chair Rep. Barnhart said on March 1, 2017, after listening to about an hour’s worth of impassioned arguments against HB 2859, which would’ve eliminated farm use assessments and personal property tax exemptions for farm equipment.

3

Wheat and grass seed farmer Amy Doerfler of Marion County Farm Bureau proudly wore a No on HB 2859 sticker at the capitol. “I’m here to protect the next generation’s ability to continue farming,” she said. 

1

On left are Tom and Bill Brawley, two generations of farmers and members of Marion County Farm Bureau. Both testified against HB 2859, which would’ve “devastated farmers financially,” said Tom.

Before adjourning, the committee agreed to amend the bill to remove these proposals, which would’ve upended Oregon’s land use system, placed enormous taxes on farm equipment that’s used just a few weeks out of the year, disrupted farmers’ long-term planning that is based on a stable tax system, among other things.

It was a great example of the undeniable power of united grassroots agvocacy. Thank you to the many Farm Bureau members who took time away from their operations to come to Salem and make their voices heard on this critical issue.

doncropped

Linn County Farm Bureau President Don Cersovski, “Very little of my farm equipment is used more than 30 days a year. It would be a terrible burden if this equipment sustains a yearly tax. In fact, it will likely be the final straw that makes my farm unprofitable.”

5

About 100 farmers, ranchers, and foresters filled the hearing room and two overflow seating areas.

Some of the Farm Bureau members who testified were OFB Board member Bruce Chapin, Clackamas County Farm Bureau President Jon Iverson, Linn County Farm Bureau President Don Cersovski, Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee member Brenda Frketich, Sam Sweeney of Yamhill County Farm Bureau, and Tom and Bill Brawley of Marion County Farm Bureau — and there were many others who didn’t have time to testify but were at the capitol proudly standing up for Oregon agriculture. Thank you!

> Check out an excellent report on the Daughter of a Trucker blog (written by Shelly Boshart Davis of Linn County Farm Bureau) on the big win for agriculture!

See more pics from the hearing here! 

###