Filing for Farmland Assessment
The owner or owners of land used for agriculture or horticultural purposes may apply for assessment of the land under the Farmland Assessment Act by filing Form FA-1, which is available from the respective municipal tax assessor. Woodland owners must file in addition to the Form FA-1, a completed Woodland Data Form (WD-1) and a copy of their woodland management plan.
Form FA-1 and Form WD-1 if required, must be filed annually with the tax assessor on or before August 1 of the year preceding the year for which farmland assessment is being applied for. An extension of time for filing is extended to December 1 of the pre-tax year if the taxing district completes a revaluation or reassessment of all real property in time to be reflected in the assessments for the next succeeding tax year.
The assessor may grant an extension of time for filing the application for farmland assessment which extension shall terminate no later than September 1 of the pre-tax year, in any event where it shall appear to the satisfaction of the assessor that failure to file by August 1 was due to:
An assessor shall not approve an extension of time to file an application for farmland assessment in cases where the death of the owner or a member of the owner's immediate family occurred prior to January 1 of the pre-tax year.
By law, an on-site inspection of the land will be made by the tax assessor at least once every three years. However, on-site inspections may be made as many times as reasonably necessary to establish the eligibility status of the land for the purpose of approving or disapproving the application.
COMPLETING THE FORM FA-1
The Form FA-1 application, when filed, becomes the primary document containing the essential information as required by law, whereby a tract of land, devoted to agricultural or horticultural use and meeting certain legal requirements is considered for eligibility for preferential tax treatment under the Farmland Assessment act. The application provides basic data each year on a tract of land by county and district for which the owner seeks farmland assessment for the coming year. If the form FA-1 contains information which is not accurate or data is missing, it may be denied.