The Leelanau Enterprise reports that Save Leelanau Farmland filed as a non-profit last week and launched an aggressive campaign aimed at raising taxes so the county government can purchase development rights from willing Leelanau County farmers. The group is seeking to convince the Leelanau County Board of Commissioners to place a millage proposal on the Nov. 7 General Election ballot for a .5-mil property tax for 15 years. Revenues would fund a Leelanau Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) program.
“People in Leelanau County are concerned about the loss of our beautiful working family farms, and they want to do something about it,” said group board chairman Dick Ristine.
County Commissioner Mark Walter voiced opposition saying “What this proposal will do, in essence, is subsidize a particular business â€“ agriculture. You just can’t selectively subsidize businesses with extra taxes. I don’t even want to see this proposal on a ballot.”
The group is scheduled to appear at the April county board meeting.