Senator Wayne Wallingford’s Legislative Column for the Week of Feb. 1, 2016

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Protecting Missouri Farmers and Ranchers

For many residents of the 27th District, agriculture is more than just a way of life – it’s also a family tradition, and a source of pride for those people who make their living by raising cattle, or growing corn or soybeans. In fact, agriculture makes up the largest industry in the entire state, with livestock and livestock products making up over half of that total. All this is to say, many Missourians and District 27 residents depend on the land to provide for their families, and legislation that affects their ability to do so should be brought to their attention.

This is why I would like to talk about a combined piece of legislation, Senate Concurrent Resolution 51, which has successfully made its way through the Senate and is currently being deliberated on in the House Agricultural Policy Committee. Along with a partner piece of legislation, House Concurrent Resolution 58, which was truly agreed and finally passed in the Senate, SCR 51 seeks to protect farmers and ranch owners. It will do this by preventing the State Tax Commission (STC) from enacting a proposed five percent tax increase on the agricultural industry, and by reforming the commission’s current inadequate land valuation methods. These pieces of legislation will help provide a more equitable and financially stable future for Missouri’s number one industry.

Even though Missouri farmers make up such a large part of our state’s workforce, they are also an aging group, with the average farmer’s age being around 60 years old. This means there will be a lot of turnover in the market in the coming years, and up-and-coming farmers will begin to take over the bulk of the workforce. We need to ensure that these farmers and ranchers have a stable environment to enter, and increasing taxes at this time could prevent just that. We also need a reformed system of land valuation for the STC to use when assessing property values, because the current system does not take into account damaging impacts to farmland, such as flooding or droughts. Our state has seen quite a bit of damaging weather in the past few months, and our methods for evaluating farmland should reflect the amount of potential productivity a land offers in real-time, not the results of a topical property assessment every few years.

The State Legislature is trying to make sure that Missouri farm and ranch workers will have a prosperous future, and a tax increase at this time could prevent this from becoming a reality.

I urge you to contact me with any questions or concerns you have about state government so that I can better represent you during the 2016 legislative session.

Contact Me

I always appreciate hearing your comments, opinions, and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-2459. You may write me at Wayne Wallingford, Missouri Senate, State Capitol, Jefferson City, MO 65101, or email at or

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