CLALLAM: County treasurer calls tax-break plan unfair

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A Planning Commission proposal to give property tax breaks to county residents who promise to use their land as farmland has one Clallam County official crying unfair.

The Planning Commission has recommended 60 percent tax breaks for landowners with than 3.2 acres and who promise to conserve their land as farmland.

“It would be fair only if it was used for actual farming purposes,” county Treasurer Ruth Gerdon said Tuesday.

“Unfortunately most of them (the qualifying parcels) are not.”

Under the proposal, a landowner with more than 3.2 acres whose property is appraised at $50,000 fair market value would pay $170.05 in annual taxes, compared to the current $597.95.

But landowners with less than 3.2 acres may be forced to pay the difference in taxes under the conservation farming category of the Open Space Program, according to the proposal.

County commissioners set June 19 as the public hearing date for the proposed changes to the county program.

This full report appears in today’s Clallam County edition of the Peninsula Daily News, available on newsstands or via U.S. mail by clicking on “Subscribe.”

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