The Georgia Conservation Use Tax Act: yielding economic benefits to peach growers and the state economy
Brown, Nathaniel B., Jr.
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In 1993 the Georgia Legislature passed the Georgia Conservation Use Tax Act (GCUTA). This law permits farmland and timberland to be appraised for property taxes under its current use value, instead of the potential "best" use value. Best use in many areas would be the value of the land if a farmer sold out to a commercial or residential developer. By basing property taxes on the actual value of farming or timber operations (instead of potential value if the land was sold to developers), cash flow is improved and more land can remain in farming, timber, or open space. Recently, we completed a study of investment and economic returns in the Georgia peach industry. We found that peach growers do indeed benefit from the GCUTA to a significant degree. Further, this law is helping to increase the size of the Georgia peach industry and creating jobs throughout the State.