I heard through the grapevine this weekend (yes, pun intended) that the Town of Southold is trying to change the way that it taxes orchards, farms and wineries by charging them a separate commercial tax as "processors."

So, if an apple orchard just picks and sells apples, it’s not going to be taxed more. But, if they make apple cider for sale at their farm stand, that means a higher tax. Same is true for a corn farmer…if they roast corn to sell at their farm stand, they have to pay more. Seems a little ludicrous to me.

And, apparently they want to treat wineries/vineyards differently still…because they don’t see them as agriculture. Grape growing isn’t agriculture?

Seems to me that local government should be supporting and protecting the East End farm industry, regardless of what is being grown there. But maybe I’m not getting the full story.

I’m trying to dig up more information on this topic, so if you’ve heard anything, let me know.