The agricultural assessment program allows eligible farmland located both within and outside agricultural districts to be taxed at its agricultural assessment, rather than at its fair market value. The agricultural assessment value establishes an “upper limit” for taxable assessments on eligible farmland. Any assessed value which exceeds the equalized agricultural assessment on the land may qualify for a reduced tax assessment. Landowners must apply to their local town assessor annually for an agricultural assessment.
To qualify for an agricultural assessment, you must meet one of the following criteria:
- Own at least seven acres of land which produces a minimum of $10,000 annually, or own less than seven acres of land which produces a minimum of $50,000 annually, on average, in the preceding two years from the sale of crops, livestock, or livestock products.
- Have a start-up farm operation in the first year of operation on owned or rented land that meets the minimum acreage and sales thresholds.
- Own rented land if the land independently satisfies the minimum acreage and sales requirements (see above) or is being used pursuant to a lease agreement of five or more years in conjunction with land which independently qualifies (in other words, if the operation leasing the land meets the acreage and sales requirements).
For more detailed information on Ag Value Assessments, please click here to visit the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance for an overview of the rules or contact your local assessor for more detailed information on qualifying for the agricultural assessments.
NOTE: Owners who convert lands benefiting from an agricultural assessment to non-farm use are liable for conversion payments based on the amount of taxes saved. Owners contemplating a conversion may determine the payment owed by contacting their assessor or the Sullivan County Real Property Tax Services.
Remember: Applications for Agricultural Assessments are due March 1st each year, so please plan accordingly.
If you think you qualify for an agricultural assessment, the first step is to get a Soil Group Worksheet made. Contact the Sullivan County Soil and Water Conservation District at 845-292-6552 or visit their website to learn more. The cost is $35.00 per parcel for a new worksheet and $15.00 per parcel for a revised worksheet. A soil group worksheet lists how many acres of each type of soil you have on your property. Your assessor will use this worksheet, along with the rest of your application, to help determine your assessment.
You have to apply for the Agricultural Assessment each year. However, you do not need a Soil Group Worksheet made every year. You will need a Soil Group Worksheet made if:
- This is the first time you are applying for the Agricultural Assessment
- The owner of the parcel changes
- The dimensions of the parcel changes
- The amount of land used for agricultural production changes
Please contact your local assessor to determine what other documents are necessary to apply for the Agricultural Assessment. For more information on the 2015 Agricultural Assessment Values visit the NYS Agriculture and Markets website.
To learn more about Agricultural Exemptions visit the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance website.
To learn more about Agricultural Exemptions read the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance “Farm Building Exemptions” Brochure.