Certain agricultural, timber and open space lands are valued at their current use rather than market value. For taxes due in 1999, this difference in valuation resulted in an estimated $9.9 million in tax losses and $76.7 million in shifts to other taxpayers.
To receive reduced assessment, farm and agricultural land and timber land must meet acreage and/or gross income requirements. There are no income or acreage requirements for open space lands. Local five-person advisory boards assist assessors in determining current use value. They take into consideration lease contracts or productive capacity. Each year assessors estimate a true and fair value separate from the current use value. In the event land is voluntarily removed from current use status, the property owner is liable for a maximum of seven years of compensating taxes based on the difference between current use and fair market value estimates, plus interest and penalties.
To qualify for current use, farm and agricultural land must be:
-- 20 or more acres in agricultural use,
-- five or more acres, but less than 20, with annual income from agricultural uses of $200 or more per acre for three out of five years, or
-- less than five acres with annual income from agricultural use of $1,500 or more for three out of five years.
To be eligible for current use classification, timber land must be five or more acres (land only) devoted primarily to the growth and harvest of forest crops. Open space land must be areas set aside to protect, preserve, enhance, promote, and retain such lands.
CURRENT USE VALUE REDUCTIONS
1982-1999 Collection Years
|Highest & Best||Current Use||Value||Percent|
|Due||or Units||Acres||($ Million)||($ Million)||($ Million)||Reduction|