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An ordinance to encourage farming by allowing a tax reduction on qualifying acreage:

To Qualify with a new parcel

  • Land must be zoned agricultural and be in qualifying production for 5 consecutive years prior to application for land use assessment.
  • A five year history for the property must be provided showing the number of acres in production, the types of crops, and the average yield per acre along with verification of production for sale.

To continue to qualify: one or more of the following must be provided with land use revalidation forms: 

  • Federal tax form (1040f) farm expenses & income, (4835) farm rental income & expenses, or (1040e) cash rent for agricultural land
  • Receipts showing gross sales averaging more than $1000 annually over the previous 3 years
  • The name and complete mailing address of the person who farms the property (if someone other than the property owner)
  • The property must meet the acreage & yield requirements listed below

Acreage Requirements
Agriculture devoted to hay, grain, crops, pasture. 5 acres excluding house site (1 acre). Pasture must have one head of the cattle family for 12 months per 5 acres or 2 for 6 months, 4 for 3 months, etc.; 1 swine or 1 sheep per acre for 12 months; 66 turkeys or 100 chickens per 5 acres for 12 months. (1 acre of cropland may qualify 1 acre.)

5 acres excluding house site and in the production for sale of fruits, nuts, berries, vegetables, nursery and floral products.

20 acres excluding house site with a tree stand of forest density.
The minimum acreage requirements for special classifications of real estate shall be determined by adding together the total area of contiguous real estate, excluding recorded subdivision lots, titled in the same ownership. Further, properties separated by a public right of way are considered contiguous.

Land changes
When the entire qualifying tract is sold or has a name change only, the owner must file a new application if he wishes to receive land use assistance. A fee is not charged unless the purchase has been made in the year a fee is normally due. All land owners must revalidate every year.

When less than 5 acres are sold there will be a roll- back tax imposed on that tract for the number of acres not qualifying.

When a dwelling is built on qualifying land, you will receive a roll back tax on a 1 acre house site.

If you should sell 5 acres of qualifying land and the new owner builds a dwelling, the new owner will receive the roll back tax. The owner changing the use from qualifying to non- qualifying receives the roll back tax.
Zoning changes

Real property rezoned to a more intensive use at the request of the owner or his agent on and after July 1, 1988, shall be subject to the roll-back tax at the time the zoning is changed rather than at the time the use is changed. Neither the roll-back tax nor the loss of eligibility for use-value assessment and taxation of such rezoned property applies if the rezoning is required for the establishment, continuation or expansion of a qualifying use.

Roll Back Tax
This is the recovery of the original tax due on a tract of land. It includes tax for the current year and the five preceding years in which the real estate was valued, assessed, and taxed under the land use ordinance. Roll-back taxes shall be assessed and paid only of the amount of tax exceeds $10.00.

$12.00 for each application, plus .12 cents per acre. This fee is due every sixth year unless the property has changed in acreage or use.

Sign Up
New applications must be filed by November 1 for the following years tax bill.
Revalidations are accepted October 1 through December 5 of each year. Applications not received by December 5 may still continue in the program if the applications are filed by December 31 and a late filing fee is paid. The late filing fee is 10% of the tax savings.

The material misstatement of facts in the application or revalidation form will result in the tract of land being disqualified for that year and assistance will not be granted.
If new applications and revalidation forms are not properly filled out, this can also result in loss of assistance.

Should you have questions or concerns, please contact us at 540.245.5650. We are striving to serve the public's interest and assist them whenever possible. Your input is appreciated.

Last updated: 12/11/2007 10:51:48 AM