The Agricultural Assessment Program was established under Agricultural District law to provide a means of preserving farmland. The program is designed to provide a partial exemption from taxation for farmland where pressures from competing land uses cause the market value of the land, and in turn, the assessment to exceed the economic value of the land.
Agricultural Assessment applies only to agricultural land, which includes cropland, pasture, orchards, vineyards and support land. Land that is used to produce maple syrup or land used to produce Christmas trees is also categorized as agricultural land.
The following eligibility requirements must be fulfilled in order to qualify for an assessment:
- 7 acres or more used to produce crops or livestock products for sale.
- Landowner is in an agricultural district or has committed his land to agricultural production for 8 years.
- Land must produce gross sales of $10,000 or more for the past two years.
To apply for an agricultural assessment you should:
- Bring or mail copies of your current tax bills to the Franklin County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) by February 15
- Soil Group Acreages will be determined by district staff and will be recorded on APD-1, the Soil Group Worksheet.
- If you are leasing land to a farmer please get a signed, notarized lease agreement between you and the farmer to take to your assessor.
- The assessment applicant will receive a copy of APD-1 and the soils map from the SWCD office.
- Applicant the must submit a RA-100, the soils map and form APD-1 with all the necessary information to their town assessor by March 1 so parcel eligibility can be determined.
Farmland that is eligible for an agricultural assessment is exempt from real property taxation on any assessed value, which exceeds its agricultural assessment value. If you have already received an exemption, it is necessary to fill out a renewal form each year, with your assessor, to keep receiving that exemption. If there have been any changes to a parcel since last year, a revised worksheet should be completed through the SWCD and a new application submitted to the assessor. From time to time soil groups change, so it’s a good idea to have your soil group worksheet checked for any changes every few years. There is a $20.00 charge per parcel for the worksheets if the application is received before Feb 15th, if received after there will be a $5.00 late fee.
If you have any questions you can call the SWCD office at 518-651-2097