The Farmland Assessment Act of 1964 provides that land "shall be deemed to be in agricultural use when devoted to the production for sale of plants and animals useful to man, including trees and forests products". Land devoted to the growing of trees (woodland) is eligible for reduced tax assessments when it meets certain qualification requirements. There are three types of woodland to be considered in tax assessment.
Self-qualifying woodland or acreage composed of woodland which clearly qualifies for farmland assessment, meeting all statutory requirements in respect to income, acreage, years actively devoted to agricultural use, and compliance with an approved wood lot management plan. Self qualifying woodland is deemed to be non-appurtenant woodland, and is entered as such on the farmland assessment application form FA-1 .
To qualify this type of woodland, the following additional requirements must be met and submitted annually:
- A wood lot management plan certified by an approved forester
(first year only, until plan is renewed or changed).
- A woodland data form (WD-1)
- A scaled map indicating location of woodland activity and soil classes.
- An exact copy of the information submitted to the assessor is to be submitted at the same time, to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.
- Supportive woodland is woodland acreage, which is part of a crop or livestock farm, and which does not contribute income to the farm, but does contribute benefits to the farm, such as lumber for fencing for on farm use, protection from wind, erosion, water conservation, or buffer areas for the farm from neighbors. This woodland is deemed to be appurtenant woodland and is entered under this category on the Form FA-1. A wooded piece of property is presumed to be supportive and subordinate woodland when its area is less than the area of cropland and pasture land qualifying for farmland assessment. An owner claiming farmland assessment for a wooded piece of property exceeding the acreage in cropland or pastureland shall submit an explanation and additional proofs to the assessor may require to support the claim that such woodland is supportive and subordinate.
- Un-managed woodland, which represents land in trees standing alone, or woodland which is not supportive and subordinate to otherwise qualifying farmland. There is no qualifying agricultural activity whereby the acreage might be considered "actively devoted" to an agricultural use. Un-Managed woodland is not eligible for qualification under the Farmland Assessment Act.
For additional information on woodland management and Farmland Assessment contact the:
Bureau of Forest Management, NJ Department of Environmental Protection at 609-292-2531.