Agriculture & Markets - Agricultural Districts - Agricultural lands outside of districts; agricultural assessments


Published: 2016-05-27

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§ 306. Agricultural lands outside of districts; agricultural
assessments. 1. Any owner of land used in agricultural production
outside of an agricultural district shall be eligible for an
agricultural assessment as provided herein. If an applicant rents land
from another for use in conjunction with the applicant's land for the
production for sale of crops, livestock or livestock products, the gross
sales value of such products on such rented land shall be added to the
gross sales value of such products produced on the land of the applicant
for purposes of determining eligibility for an agricultural assessment
on the land of the applicant.

Such assessment shall be granted pursuant to paragraphs a, b and f of
subdivision one of section three hundred five of this article as if such
land were in an agricultural district, provided the landowner annually
submits to the assessor an application for an agricultural assessment on
or before the taxable status date. In the year of a revaluation or
update of assessments, as those terms are defined in section one hundred
two of the real property tax law, the application may be filed with the
assessor no later than the thirtieth day prior to the day by which the
tentative assessment roll is required to be filed by law. Nothing
therein shall be construed to limit an applicant's discretion to
withhold from such application any land, or portion thereof, contained
within a single operation.

2. a. (i) If land which received an agricultural assessment pursuant
to this section is converted at any time within eight years from the
time an agricultural assessment was last received, such conversion shall
subject the land so converted to payments in compensation for the prior
benefits of agricultural assessments. The amount of the payments shall
be equal to five times the taxes saved in the last year in which land
benefited from an agricultural assessment, plus interest of six percent
per year compounded annually for each year in which an agricultural
assessment was granted, not exceeding five years.

(ii) The amount of taxes saved for the last year in which the land
benefited from an agricultural assessment shall be determined by
applying the applicable tax rates to the amount of assessed valuation of
such land in excess of the agricultural assessment of such land as set
forth on the last assessment roll which indicates such an excess. If
only a portion of such land as described on the assessment roll is
converted, the assessor shall apportion the assessment and agricultural
assessment attributable to the converted portion, as determined for the
last assessment roll on which the assessment of such portion exceeded
its agricultural assessment. The difference between the apportioned
assessment and the apportioned agricultural assessment shall be the
amount upon which payments shall be determined. Payments shall be levied
in the same manner as other taxes, by or on behalf of each taxing
jurisdiction on the assessment roll prepared on the basis of the first
taxable status date on which the assessor considers the land to have
been converted; provided, however, that no payments shall be imposed if
the last assessment roll upon which the property benefited from an
agricultural assessment, was more than eight years prior to the year for
which the assessment roll upon which payments would otherwise be levied
is prepared.

(iii) Whenever a conversion occurs, the owner shall notify the
assessor within ninety days of the date such conversion is commenced. If
the landowner fails to make such notification within the ninety day
period, the assessing unit, by majority vote of the governing body, may
impose a penalty on behalf of the assessing unit of up to two times the
total payments owed, but not to exceed a maximum total penalty of one
thousand dollars in addition to any payments owed.

b. (i) An assessor who determines that there is liability for payments
and any penalties pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph shall
notify the landowner of such liability at least ten days prior to the
day for hearing of complaints in relation to assessments. Such notice
shall specify the area subject to payments and shall describe how such
payments shall be determined. Failure to provide such notice shall not
affect the levy, collection, or enforcement of payments.

(ii) Liability for payments shall be subject to administrative and
judicial review as provided by law for the review of assessments.

(iii) An assessor who imposes any such payments shall annually, and
within forty-five days following the date on which the final assessment
roll is required to be filed, report such payments to the commissioner
of taxation and finance on a form prescribed by the commissioner.

(iv) The assessing unit, by majority vote of the government body, may
impose a minimum payment amount, not to exceed five hundred dollars.

c. If such land or any portion thereof is converted by virtue of oil,
gas or wind exploration, development, or extraction activity or by
virtue of a taking by eminent domain or other involuntary proceeding
other than a tax sale, the land or portion so converted shall not be
subject to payments. If land so converted constitutes only a portion of
a parcel described on the assessment roll, the assessor shall apportion
the assessment, and adjust the agricultural assessment attributable to
the portion of the parcel not subject to such conversion by subtracting
the proportionate part of the agricultural assessment attributable to
the portion so converted. Provided further that land outside an
agricultural district and eligible for an agricultural assessment
pursuant to this section shall not be considered to have been converted
to a use other than for agricultural production solely due to the
conveyance of oil, gas or wind rights associated with that land.

d. The purchase of land in fee by the city of New York for watershed
protection purposes or the conveyance of a conservation easement by the
city of New York to the department of environmental conservation which
prohibits future use of the land for agricultural purposes shall not be
a conversion of parcels and no payment for the prior benefits of
agricultural assessments shall be due under this section.

3. Upon the inclusion of such agricultural lands in an agricultural
district formed pursuant to section three hundred three, the provisions
of section three hundred five shall be controlling.

4. A payment levied pursuant to subparagraph (i) of paragraph a of
subdivision two of this section shall be a lien on the entire parcel
containing the converted land, notwithstanding that less than the entire
parcel was converted.

5. Use of assessment for certain purposes. The governing body of a
water, lighting, sewer, sanitation, fire, fire protection, or ambulance
district for whose benefit a special assessment or a special ad valorem
levy is imposed, may adopt a resolution to provide that the assessments
determined pursuant to subdivision one of this section for property
within the district shall be used for the special assessment or special
ad valorem levy of such special district.