Preston OKs changes to farm building property tax exemptions

Preston — At a town meeting on Thursday residents approved an ordinance that would allow for property tax exemptions for buildings used in farming.

The exemption, however, was modified from an assessed building value of up to $100,000 to a maximum of $21,000.

Connecticut towns have the option to set the exemption amount and Preston’s is now the lowest in the state, Conservation Commission member Lynwood Crary said.

The ordinance allows for exemptions for buildings used “actually and exclusively” in farming and for any buildings assessed at up to $21,000 that are used to provide housing for seasonal farm employees.

Crary said that most of the buildings in town that could qualify for this exemption assess “in the teens” so $21,000 is an appropriate amount.

The exemption does not apply to the farmer’s home.

“It’s not about preserving the farmer, it’s about preserving the farm,” Crary said. “We’re trying to keep the farms. The farmer isn’t as important as keeping the farm.”

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