Aug
24
2011

  Paperwork, Paperwork

I've been working on filling out the forms for the local land-use revalidation. There was a big to-do a few years ago where people were harping that farm owners weren't paying enough taxes, so now we have to fill out a form every other year documenting our farm use. It's a hassle, but I went to community meetings when everything was up in the air, and you'd think by listening to the farmers complaining about it that the county wanted their firstborn sons. And the non-farmers seemed to think that the amount of fields someone owned somehow caused them to be underpaying for the school system (hello, it makes sense to tax for services based on the size of the HOME since that is where the people live, not the size of the fields, since crops and livestock don't use services like the schools and libraries).

But once I was able to disregard the vitriol to figure out what exactly was being proposed, I no longer cared much either way. The county wants landowners to fill out a two-page form. Yes, you need to know what your farm is producing (either by the ton or dollar-value), but really it's not that hard to figure out. Or maybe it's just not that hard for ME to figure out, since I was a highly trained accountant, and filling out forms was a big part of my professional expertise.

I've already filled out the main validation form, but since we have timber on what the county deems "critical slopes" there is another form I think I have to fill out. But I'm not sure, since we filled it out when the farm was under another form of ownership, and although the form says it's valid even after a transfer, I suspect it would be prudent to file another with the new ownership name.

I sent an email to the Real Estate Department, hopefully they'll post the form online so I can download it. Or email it to me. But I've got a sinking feeling that I'll have to actually show up in the county office building to pick it up. Bleh, they've got a lot of OTHER forms online, but of course not the one I need.

Yes, the @#$# land-use paperwork is a hassle, but if that's what it takes to keep the constituents happy, so be it.