Legislation updating Wisconsin’s farmland preservation program has been signed into law.
State Senator Patrick Testin from Stevens Point co-authored the legislation with Representative Loren Oldenburg. He says, “Wisconsin has been a leader in this program going back to the 1970s, but the problem is it hasn’t been updated in nearly twenty years.”
Testin tells Brownfield surveys through the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection proved the program needed changes. “We’ve seen a decline in participation, primarily because of the time commitment of fifteen years and the fact that the tax credits haven’t been increased in almost twenty years, so the bill increases the tax credits and reduces the commitment from fifteen years down to ten.”
Assembly Bill 133, now Wisconsin Act 42 not only decreases the minimum required length of a farmland preservation agreement, it also increases the amount of credit that may be claimed per eligible acre and creates a new category of eligible farmland.