Editorial: Ag exemption holds merit
February 16, 2011
A recent idea proposed by Moffat County Farm Bureau for a county agriculture tax exemption has merit and the Editorial Board would like to see it placed on the ballot. Family farm operations are a dying breed and we need to do what we can to help them.
Farming has never been easy, and it never will be.
Farmers know this inevitable fact all too well, as they likely have to supplement their income with another job just to pay the bills
But, agriculture has always played a prominent role in our local and state economies, and we need to do what we can to make it easier for farmers and ranchers of our county to compete.
That's why the Editorial Board supports a recent proposal from Moffat County Farm Bureau to develop a ballot question asking voters to allow qualified farmers and ranchers to be exempt from the county's 2-percent sales tax.
The idea is relevant and prudent considering both Utah and Wyoming have significant agriculture tax exemptions.
It is easy to see that a farmer could simply drive a few hours either direction and possibly save thousands of dollars on a purchase.
It isn't like our local farmers and ranchers would be getting special treatment, as one Farm Bureau board member put it.
Rather, we would just be letting our numerous farm and ranch equipment dealers compete with out-of-county and out-of-state dealers.
Let's put it to the voters and let's keep those dollars in the community. We have a feeling many of the voters in the county would agree with us.
Yes, there could be some impacts to county and city sales tax coffers.
But, the Editorial Board believes it wouldn't be great and there is a strong chance those farmers and ranchers that come from other communities might just purchase other taxed items when they are here.
Farm Bureau should also consider bringing in other available support and agricultural advocates to help pass this ballot measure.
It is no easy task to pass a citizen-initiated ballot measure, or tax break for that matter.
This is needed relief for our hardworking farmers and ranchers, and the more experience our local farmers can gather to help develop it, the better.
All praise due
The Editorial Board would like congratulate three Moffat County High School wrestlers on their recent achievement.
The hard work and dedication of MCHS seniors Charlie Griffiths and Cody Adams and sophomore Garrett Stewart has paid off, as the three qualified for this weekend's 4A state tournament in Denver.
That's an accomplishment worth noting, considering the physical and mental demands of their sport and that some areas close to Moffat County didn't land any wrestlers at state at all.
It also brings to light the dedication and expertise of MCHS head coach Roman Gutierrez and his excellent coaching staff.
Moffat County's continued success is a testament to your quality coaching and we feel honored to have such a talented coach year after year.