Agriculture Tax Savings Programs

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Lands largely devoted to agricultural purposes may be able to receive a propery tax break.
Lands largely devoted to agricultural purposes may be able to receive a propery tax break. (Image: crops in rows image by david hughes from Fotolia.com)

Agricultural tax saving programs seek to give farmers, ranchers and farmland owners relief from taxes. These programs tax the land based on the land’s agriculture value as opposed to the actual value of the land. Since the agricultural value is less than the real estate value of the property, farmers will save money on their taxes. The goals of these programs are to help farmers save money on taxes so they will continue to use their land for agricultural purposes.

Harris County, Texas Tax Saving Program

The Tax Savings on Land Used for Agriculture and Wildlife Conservation savings program is open to farmers and ranchers in Texas. The program will value the land based on the land’s ability to generate crops, timber or feed and not on what the land would sell for in the real estate market. To qualify, the land must be used mostly for agricultural purposes or it must currently be used for open space purposes. Farmers and ranchers must apply for this tax break; it is not automatically applied to agricultural lands.

Harris County Appraisal District 13013 Northwest Freeway Houston, TX 77040-6305 713-957-7800 hcad.org

County of Ventura, California Williamson Land Conservation Act (LCA)

The LCA program provides tax breaks to agricultural property owners in the hope they will continue to use their land for agricultural purposes. In return for the tax breaks, property owners must sign a contract indicating they will continue to use their land for agriculture. There are only two ways to cancel this contract. Property owners can choose not to renew the contract, or they may cancel it by paying a cancellation fee. This fee will be 30.5 percent of the current market value of the property. This program is open to property owners who wish to form an Agricultural Preserve and this preserve must be approved by the Ventura County Planning Division.

Ventura County Planning Division 800 S. Victoria Avenue Ventura, CA 93003-1270 805-654-2630 countyofventura.org

New York State Agricultural Assessment

This program gives a tax break landowners who have devoted at least seven acres to farming and whose gross sales are at least $10,000 for the two previous years. Some horse boarding facilities may also be eligible for this tax break as well. Land will be taxed based on its value for farming as opposed to current market value. Landowners must apply for this tax break with their local assessor; the tax is not automatically applied to agricultural lands. Lands not currently being used for agricultural purposes due to natural disasters may be able to keep their tax-reduced status, but landowners must be able to provide documentation showing the land can generate crops in normal conditions.

NYS Office of Real Property Tax Services (ORPTS) WA Harriman State Campus Albany, NY 12227 518-591-5232 orps.state.ny.us

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