Wed, Jan

Agriculture gets a tax break


Camp Verde’s ranchers and farmers are about to receive a boon by way of the Town Council: An amendment to the tax code.New Camp Verde Town Council members Buck Buchanan, left, and Dee Jenkins listen to a presentation concerning the amendment of a tax code. The amendment allows for an exemption of sales tax for the purchase of seed and chemical spray, feed for animals and animals bought for slaughter.

The amendment, approved by a 6-1 vote of the Camp Verde Town Council Dec. 7 allows for an exemption of sale tax for the purchase of seed and chemical spray, feed for animals and animals bought for slaughter.

Prior to the amendment’s approval, Camp Verde Finance Director Mike Showers said that he felt the change would have a “very small impact on our town, if at all” from a revenue standpoint.

The benefit to ranchers, farmers and other local businesses, on the other hand, would be substantial.

Showers admitted that he had no evidence to support this assertion.

“I still don’t think it’ll have a large impact on our town, but that’s my feeling,” Showers said. “I don’t have the numbers to back that up.”

“I would rather base a decision on figures than a feeling,” councilwoman Robin Whatley said. Ultimately, Whatley would cast the sole dissenting vote due to the lack of concrete data.

According to Showers, data showing how the same amendment impacts other communities will not be available for another six months.

“I’ll see that deduction by whoever’s taking it,” Showers said, adding that the town is proposing the amendment because of its belief that it will positively impact agriculture — “an industry that’s already tight on their margins.”

“This is for commercial operations,” Camp Verde Vice Mayor Jessie Jones-Murdock said, adding that the common perception of Camp Verde as being home to many commercial agricultural operations is untrue.

“I support this,” Jones-Murdock said, emphasizing that the move would likely not impact tax revenue appreciably.

Councilwoman Jackie Baker agreed and called for the motion to approve.

“My guess is this would be a miniscule impact,” Baker concluded.

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