Arizona and Ohio’s Support for Algae Business
In 2012 Arizona and Ohio passed new laws that will make algae production much more attractive in those states, attracting jobs, investment and new research.
In Arizona, bipartisan legislation was signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer that would allow algaculture to be defined as agriculture on state trust lands. A second piece of Arizona legislation will tax land used for algaculture in the same favorable manner as agricultural land.
In Ohio, Governor John Kasich signed into law bipartisan legislation that defines the production of algae as agriculture in the Ohio Revised Code.
The legislation in Arizona was advanced in a bipartisan manner by state representatives in close coordination with local algae businesses and the research community. Two bills became law in Arizona:
–HB 2226 widened the tax definitions of agricultural property by including lands dedicated to algaculture. This will give algae farms the same lower property tax rates provided to other farming businesses.
–HB 2225 redefined agricultural land use to include algaculture for the sole purpose of research, development, and production of commercial biofuels on state trust land—land that is intended to benefit public schools and institutions. The Arizona State Land Department will now be able to issue agricultural leases for algae operations.
The Ohio legislation to define algaculture as agriculture was also proposed in close coordination with local algae businesses, as well as trade organizations like the Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Poultry Association, the Ohio Soybean Association, and others. This bill passed both state houses unanimously.
– House Bill 276 defined the production of algae as agricultural activity in the Ohio Revised Code. Specifically, the legislation revised the definitions of “agriculture,” “agricultural purposes,” “agricultural production,” and “land devoted exclusively to agricultural use” found in state agricultural statutes and some other state statutes to include algaculture.
It is very likely that other states can benefit from a similar approach, especially those with large agricultural industries or research traditions. Contact the Algae Biomass Organization for more information.
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