January 29, 2016
John DeHollander, District Manager of the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District, reminds agricultural landowners that the deadline to apply for an agricultural assessment is March 1. The Agricultural District Law, which was adopted in New York State in 1971, provides an Agricultural Assessment Program for landowners whose property is used for agricultural purposes.
"This assessment program puts into place a procedure for owners of agricultural lands to receive a lower assessment on eligible properties," said DeHollander. "During these years of increasing property taxes, this program could save you from paying a higher amount in taxes and making it more affordable to retain as open, agricultural land."
Owners whose land satisfies the minimum eligibility requirements may apply for an agricultural assessment.
The following eligibility requirements must be met:
Land must consist of seven or more acres and be used for production for sale of crops, livestock, or livestock products;
The annual gross sales of agricultural products must average $10,000 or more. If an agricultural enterprise consists of less than seven acres, it may qualify if the annual gross sales equal $50,000 or more. Additional special stipulations are given to horse boarding operations, aquaculture, orchards, silvopasture and/or vineyard operations.
Land rented for agricultural purposes may receive an agricultural assessment. If the rented land does not satisfy the average gross sales value requirement, but does satisfy the other requirements, it may still be eligible if it is farmed under a written rental agreement for at least five years, with other farmland that satisfies all eligibility requirements
The completed application with all other required documents must be received at the local assessor's office by March 1
To apply for an agricultural assessment in Oswego County, landowners must first contact their local assessor's office and obtain the Agricultural Assessment application form RP-305. One application form is required for every tax parcel that the landowner is applying for. A list of Oswego County assessors is posted at www.oswegocounty.com/rptsl.
The Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District Office is available to assist landowners in completing the next step of the application process, the Soil Group Worksheet (form APD-1). To make an appointment, call the district office weekdays at 592-9663. A service charge of $30 per tax parcel will be assessed in completing the form and a soils map prior to March 1; from March 2 to Nov. 30, the charge is $40 per tax parcel.
"There are different steps in completing this application, so please do not wait until the last day to file. Begin the process now," said DeHollander. He reminds landowners who are already enrolled to contact their local assessor's office annually and inquire if they need to renew their current application for next year's tax roll.
Those interested in signing up for the agricultural assessment program, or who know of someone who may be eligible, are urged to contact the Soil and Water Conservation District at 592-9663. Landowners in counties surrounding Oswego County should contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District office.
For more information on other programs or natural resource issues in Oswego County, stop by the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District office at 3105 NY St. Rt. 3, located just west of the Bristol Hill Landfill, or visit their web page at oswegosoilandwater.com
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