Currently, land productivity is graded on a 8 point scale, with 1 being the highest productivity land and 8 being the lowest. These values are based on soil surveys, soil productivity indexes, production costs, and crop yields.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Kent Hampton, R-Malden, said the area where he lives -- an 8 county area in the bootheel -- contains some of the state's most productive land.
"We have the opportunity to grow anything and everything, and have pretty well proven we have the ability to do such," Hampton said.
In 2014, Hampton said the tax on agricultural land productivity values increased to about 5 percent for the best grade and about 4.6 percent for the lowest grade.
The tax increases can be prevented by the legislature if both houses act within the first 60 days of the year. This year, however, they failed to do so, resulting in the increase.
"Agriculture is the engine that pulls the train in the area where we live," Hampton said. "We need agriculture to survive and make money."
The measure would also prohibit an increase in the tax when 25 percent or more of all counties within the state have been declared by the President or the governor to be affected by a natural disaster in the preceding four years.
The committee took no immediate action on the bill.