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Economic implications of differential taxation for agriculture in the Intermountain West: issues and alternatives




Villar, Daniel, author
Seidl, Andrew, author
Sundberg, Jeffrey, author
Allison, Lesli, author
Mahowald, Hallie, author
Colorado State University, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, publisher

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Private lands occupy the most biologically diverse portions of the landscape in the Intermountain West, provide more than 80 percent of the critical habitat of about half of America’s threatened or endangered wildlife species, sustain food and fiber production, source and purify drinking water, and protect important riparian resources. These lands also provide recreational opportunities and scenic values, create a transition and connectivity between developed communities and public wildlands, and provide an economic foundation for Western communities. This report has four general sections: 1. A comparative review of differential agricultural taxation laws in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. 2. A discussion of the potential dimensions of proposed revisions to current laws to enable the treatment of agricultural lands under such legislation to include management for wildlife habitat, open space and other publicly valued rural land attributes, as adopted by other Western states. 3. A review of the potential dimensions of economic impact due to enabling diversified management of agricultural land use, as well as the likely implications of stricter compliance with the current agricultural use taxation laws relative to the current situation or 'baseline' case. [4.] An illustrative estimate of the economic impact of the potential changes on the states of Colorado, New Mexico and Utah is provided, including hypothetical representative ranches in high growth, high amenity rural counties of each of these states.


June 2015.

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private lands
property tax laws
assessment practices
natural resource conservation


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