Each state has it’s own version of “Current Use” taxation: favorable property tax treatment of farm and forest land. Since most of our work is in Vermont, we have a separate page with the links. We are also licensed to work in the adjacent states, so more information is provided here. Most states have some form of tax reduction for undeveloped land. With land normally taxed at its “fair market value”, and values based on the potential for development, farm and forest land would pay more than their fair share and be unsustainable as an investment. Farm and forest costs the town and state almost nothing. They put no kids in school. There is little in the way of police or fire protection, though you might see a game warden now-and-then. All we need is for the roads to be available for maintenance and selling our products. So the state provides some framework for maintaining your land as agriculture or forestry land (with string attached) and a commitment to refrain from “development”, in exchange for lower property tax rates. The land is taxed at its “Current Use” value instead of its potential use. Of course, farm and forest create the raw materials for value added businesses with taxable activity. In the big picture, the state lowers your taxes on land which costs them little, and benefits by billions of dollars of employment and businesses to tax.
As always, we can assist with meeting the qualifications and enrollment. Usually a forest management plan is required, which sets up a framework to meet your goals for the land. Also, we can answer many questions about the requirements, costs, “strings attached” and benefits.
In New Hampshire, this is called “Current Use”
In Massachusetts, it is called “Chapter 61”
In New York, it is called “480A”