Ohio Farm Bureau delegates back fuel tax hike

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OFBF delegate
Wayne County delegate Rory Lewandowski explains the reasoning behind a proposed policy during the Ohio Farm Bureau annual meeting. More than 340 members served as delegates to the meeting, shaping the public policy that will direct the farm group’s legislative efforts. (Susan Crowell photo)

COLUMBUS — There were few surprises during the Ohio Farm Bureau delegate debate of proposed policies, Dec. 6-7 during the farm group’s annual meeting in Columbus

Issues that members kept coming back to in discussions included infrastructure and the issue of ballot initiatives and voter access.

Delegates finally voted to support an increase in motor fuels taxes to help fund repairs for rural roads and bridges, and also supported identifying alternative funding mechanisms.

Delegates also voted in support of reforming Ohio’s petition ballot initiative laws.

There were no major additions or deletions in policy on property rights, animal care, environmental stewardship, and regulatory and tax reform.

Farmers’ efforts to protect water quality were addressed, and members approved policy to encourage government agencies to adhere to state law when considering agricultural regulations.

Animal care and meat inspection were debated. Delegates acted to clarify that agricultural zoning laws apply to all non-wild or dangerous species that a farmer may be tending, and to create a meat inspection fee system that is equitable for domestic deer producers.

Farm Bureau delegates also approved policy pushing for tax incentives for volunteer fire departments and EMS volunteers.

Jim Rowe, OFBF delegate
More than 340 delegates debated public policy proposals to direct staff and volunteers’ advocacy efforts.

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