Los Angelezs Moves to Grant Tax Relief to Urban Farms

By City News Service

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday tentatively approved an ordinance to grant tax relief to city farmers and encourage them to transform empty lots into urban farms. The vote was 10-0 on first reading, two votes short of the number needed for immediate approval. A second vote will be taken next week.

Under the Urban Agricultural Incentive Zones Act, cities may establish agricultural zones where property owners who allow their land to be used for agricultural purposes for a minimum of five years can receive a property tax adjustment and be reassessed at the average statewide irrigated agriculture land rate.

“Creating urban agricultural zones is much more than what you see on paper. Urban ag zones will transform unsightly underutilized lots, promote a greater sense of community amongst those who participate in agricultural activities at the sites and provide ready access to fresh fruits and vegetables for everyone,” said Councilman Curren Price, who introduced the motion to create the ordinance with former Councilman Felipe Fuentes.

The county Board of Supervisors adopted the Urban Agricultural Incentive Zones Act in 2016, which cleared the way for any of the 88 cities in the county to create incentive zones.

“We see (urban agricultural zones) as a restorative measure to advance equity and justice in the city of L.A. by repurposing vacant properties in historically disenfranchised and divested communities and repurposing them towards being able to grow food, promote economic enterprises, promote economic development and support social cohesion in communities,” said Breanna Hawkins, the Los Angeles Food Policy Council’s policy director.

 

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June 15, 2017  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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