New GOP bill would limit Wisconsin landowners’ access to farmland preservation tax credit

A bill currently being circulated by GOP lawmakers would bar landowners in Wisconsin from claiming the state’s farmland preservation tax credit for some cases in which solar energy systems are present, according to WisBusiness.

The bill would apply to areas of the property that house a solar energy system, provided it does not play a role in farming operations. As long as 50% of the land is used for agriculture, landowners can still qualify for the tax credit for the entire property.

A co-sponsorship memo sent to other legislators references a “substantial increase” in the installation of solar panels on agricultural land statewide. It also shows the amount of farmland dropped from 24 million acres in 1950 to 14.2 million acres by 2021.

The farmland preservation program was intended to reduce property tax burdens on farmland owners and encourage local governments to develop land preservation policies.

The co-sponsorship deadline for the new bill is Sept. 25 at 5 p.m. The full bill text is available here.