New Ohio agritourism law provides clarity, addresses liability, taxation, zoning

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest For 20 years, the Leeds Farm in Delaware County has opened its gates to thousands of visitors on autumn weekends for hayrides, zip lines, pig races and other activities including a petting zoo with goats and a mother-daughter pair of donkeys.“We kind of naturally evolved into agritourism,” said Rob Leeds, who is also the local agriculture and natural resources educator for Ohio State University Extension. “As development started happening and things changed around us, we adapted.”If nothing else, new Ohio legislation gives Leeds peace of mind, he said.On May 17, Gov. John Kasich signed Senate Bill 75, which defines agritourism, offers protections for agritourism operators, and addresses issues including civil liability risks, property taxation and local zoning authority.The law takes effect Aug. 16, well in time for agritourism activities popular in Ohio in autumn, said Peggy Kirk Hall, assistant professor of agricultural and resource law for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University and agricultural law field specialist for OSU Extension.“I think the first thing people need to understand is that to be covered by the law, you have to meet the definition of a ‘farm,’” Hall said. “You have to have at least 10 acres devoted to agricultural production or gross an average income of at least $2,500 from such production. You already have to have that production taking place. If so, then an agritourism activity that is agriculturally related, whether educational, historical, cultural, recreational or for entertainment, is covered by the new law.”The law protects operators from liability for injuries related to risks inherent in agritourism activities.“‘Inherent’ risks are those things that a reasonable person would know they would be at risk from doing that activity,” Hall said. “Being around a horse carries some inherent risks due to the size and unpredictability of the animal. But if an operator doesn’t correctly harness the horse and a problem arises, that would be considered negligence, which isn’t protected by this legislation.”Activities involving animals always carry some risk, Leeds said.“Ninety to 95% of our goats are good-natured, but if someone’s coat or jacket gets too close, they could easily start nibbling on it. They’re not trying to be mean. They’re just goats,” he said.Leeds said rough terrain can also be an issue for farm visitors.“Not everything is blacktop on a farm,” he said. “At our operation, you park in a hayfield. It’s part of the experience. For the most part, it’s fine, but you have to realize that it is still a farm field. So, these protections offer us some peace of mind.”Under the new law, operators must post warning signs near each entrance or at each activity notifying visitors that the operator is not liable for any injuries related to those inherent risks.“The language of the warning sign is precise, and the law states the letters must be in black, at least one inch in height and must be clearly visible at the entrance or at the site of the activity,” Hall said. “I recommend that operators err on the side of posting too many signs rather than not enough. You’re putting people on notice that they need to understand that there are some inherent risks of being there.”Local zoning officials need to understand the new law also, because it limits how zoning can affect agritourism activities, she said. County and township zoning won’t be able to prohibit agritourism, but can make some requirements to address property access, parking and building setbacks in certain situations.“This is where we may see some differences of opinion about whether the operation is truly “agritourism” according to the law,” she said. “I’ve already heard from local governments trying to figure out who this affects.”The law also clarifies that land where agritourism activities take place should be taxed under Ohio’s Current Agricultural Use Valuation program rather than at higher property tax rates.“That’s never been a big deal for us — our auditor in Delaware County works very closely with the ag community — but I’ve heard it’s been an issue for some operators in other counties,” Leeds said. “It’s always good to be clear.”Hall provides an overview of the legislation with additional details in a post on OSU Extension’s Ag Law Blog, said that the law will be helpful to operations like his, which he runs with his wife Christy Leeds.“But no matter what legislation we pass, it always comes back to relationships,” Leeds said. “As agritourism operators, we need to develop relationships with neighbors, township trustees and elected officials. I really enjoy working with our local fire officials and sheriff, talking about issues they may see with our operation and what we may need to do to be safe. Those relationships are invaluable no matter what.”last_img read more

Tidying Up Your Financial Life

first_img Return to article. Long DescriptionHaving recently gone through a household and financial document purge in preparation for an upcoming move, I can attest to the satisfaction that is experienced when possessions and financial records are prioritized and  organized. Sorting and shredding is just one piece. Below is a list of nine ways to tidy up your financial life:Create a Financial Inventory– List key financial data in one document including bank and brokerage accounts, insurance policies, credit card numbers, loans, names of financial advisors, and the location of important documents. A good template financial inventory form was developed by the Vanguard investment company.Consolidate Financial Accounts– Prepare a net worth statement (assets minus debts) and list all your financial assets. Many people have multiple brokerage and bank accounts, IRAs, insurance policies, and more. Identify assets to be consolidated. The objective is to consolidate similar assets to a minimum number of custodians.Close Financial Accounts– Eliminate and replace accounts that charge high fees and/or do not offer high interest rates. Another good candidate for closure is mutual funds with high expense ratios, often because they include pesky 12(b)(1) fees that are assessed for marketing expenses. Compare at least 3 account providers.Review and Update Beneficiary Designations– Identify financial assets that have a beneficiary designation including life insurance policies, IRAs, and tax-deferred retirement savings plans such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans. List them all in one place on this worksheet. Review your beneficiary designations and revise them as needed. Also be sure to list contingent beneficiaries in case your first beneficiary designee predeceases you.Review Automated Payments– Review recurring bill payments that are automatically deducted from financial accounts and cancel those for discretionary products and services that are no longer used. Common examples include gym memberships, Netflix fees, newspapers, “[X] of the month” clubs, and satellite radio fees.Calculate Your Net Worth– Make a list of everything that you own (assets) and everything that you owe (debts). Assets minus debts are your net worth. Update your net worth statement annually to keep track of balances owed to creditors, how much money you have, where you have it, and how it is doing.Purge and Shred Documents– Save year-end statements for financial accounts, such as mutual funds, and shred the monthly or quarterly statements that came before. Do the same for credit cards that provide an annual summary report. Save paper bank statements for up to a year or electronically. Retain tax records for up to 7 years in the event of an audit and records for capital assets (e.g., stock) as long as you hold them plus 7 years.Open Mail Immediately and Act on It Once– Sort mail related to personal finances into three categories: 1. Discard (e.g., advertisements and certain donation requests), 2. Pay soon or immediately, and 3. File for long-term reference. Avoid making piles of mail that require “revisiting” later and can result in late payments.Actively Solicit Price Quotes- Contact your insurance agent(s) and inquire about money-saving discounts on new or existing policies. Do the same with current or potential utility providers. For example, there may be a better cell phone plan that provides the service that you need for less or energy audits that can save money.For additional information about tidying up your finances, review the University of Wisconsin Extension fact sheet Organizing Your Finances. By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, [email protected] April, two things happen that can motivate people to tidy up their financial lives. First, spring is here and the notion of “spring cleaning” in general is popular. Spring cleaning often involves clearing out clutter in the garage, donating unworn clothing and household goods, re-arranging photo albums and items in storage, and other decluttering and organizing tasks. A second motivation to tidy up personal finances in April is that income taxes are due and many people are actively reviewing their financial records at this time.last_img read more

NRC a botched-up exercise: Mamata Banerjee

first_imgDescribing the National Register of Citizens in Assam as a “botched up exercise”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said that those who tried to extract political mileage out of it will have to answer the nation. She also said that the exercise was guided by “ulterior motive rather than good of society and larger interest of nation”.“The NRC fiasco has exposed all those who tried to take political mileage out of it. They have a lot to answer to the nation. This is what happens when an act is guided by an ulterior motive rather than the good of the society and the larger interest of the nation,” she tweeted.Earlier in the day, the final list of NRC in Assam was published in which 19 lakh people were excluded. The Trinamool Congress chairperson has been one of the most vocal critics of the exercise and had even sent a team of her party MPs to take stock of the situation in Assam.“My heart goes out to all those, especially the large number of Bengali-speaking brothers and sisters, who are made to suffer because of this botched-up process,” she added.Ms. Banerjee had during the campaign described NRC as a conspiracy against Bengali speaking people.Meanwhile, State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said that the BJP will start a similar exercise in West Bengal if voted to power in the state.last_img read more

Philippines claims gold, silver in men’s triathlon

first_imgLacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES View comments Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Huelgas, who along with Chicano has been training around the region for the last two months, clocked one hour, 59 minutes and 30 seconds to win his second straight SEA Games gold medal.READ: Favorites to win, PH triathletes reminded not to be complacentFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingChicaco checked in four minutes later to make it a 1-2 finish for the Filipinos. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony Ravena lauds Standhardinger’s efforts in Gilas cadets’ opener win NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH bags 2nd Gold as triathletes Nikko Huelgas (right) and John Chicano (left finish at 1-2 at the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. – marianne bermudezKUALA LUMPUR — Nikko Huelgas and John Chicano dominated the men’s triathlon here in the Southeast Asian Games Monday as the Philippines picked up its second gold of at Putrajaya Water Sports Complex here.READ: PH bets also snatch gold, silver in women’s triathlonADVERTISEMENT MOST READlast_img read more