Farm and Agricultural Land
As a way to encourage landowners to use open space for the growing of food, landowners may choose to have their land designated as farm and agricultural land. This designation allows property valued at their current use rather than at their highest and best use. This results in a lower assessed value and lower taxes.
Current Use Farm and Agricultural Land may be subject to additional tax, interest, and penalty if the land is removed from the program. Please read "Additional Information - Farm & Ag".
Farm and agricultural land is defined as any of the following:
- Any parcel of land that is 20 or more acres, or multiple parcels of land that are contiguous and total 20 or more acres, and are:
- Devoted primarily to the production of livestock or agricultural commodities for commercial purposes.
- Enrolled in the federal conservation reserve program (CRP) or its successor administered by the United States Department of Agriculture.
- Any parcel of land that is five acres or more but less than 20 acres, is devoted primarily to agricultural uses, and has produced a gross income equivalent to:
- Prior to January 1, 1993: $100 or more per acre per year for 3 of the 5 calendar years preceding the date of application for classification.
- On or after January 1, 1993: $200 or more per acre per year for 3 of the 5 calendar years preceding the date of application for classification.
- Any parcel of land less than five acres devoted primarily to agricultural uses and has produced a gross income of:
- Prior to January 1, 1993: $1,000 or more per year for 3 of the 5 calendar years preceding the date of application for classification.
- On or after January 1, 1993: $1,500 or more per year for 3 of the 5 calendar
years preceding the date of application for classification.
- “Farm and agricultural land” also includes any of the following:
- Incidental uses compatible with agricultural purposes, including wetland preservation, provided such use does not exceed 20 percent of the classified land.
- Land on which appurtenances necessary for production, preparation, or sale of agricultural products exist in conjunction with the lands producing such products.
- Any non-contiguous parcel one to five acres, that is an integral part of the farming operations.
- Land on which housing for employees or the principal place of residence of the farm operator or owner is sited provided the use of the housing or residence is integral to the use of the classified land for agricultural purposes, the housing or residence is on or contiguous to the classified land, and the classified land is 20 or more acres.
|The Farm and Agricultural Land application fee is $450 and is non-refundable. Please include the fee with your application and make the check payable to "San Juan County Treasurer".|
The Assessor's Office is responsible for reviewing applications for approval or denial, monitoring land while in the current use program and point of contact for questions and concerns.
Who may Apply?
An owner or contract purchaser may apply for current use assessment. However, all owners or contract purchaser must sign the application for classification, and any resulting agreement.
When to Apply?
Applications may be made for classification at any time during the year from January 1 through December 31. If approved, current use assessment will begin on January 1 following the year the application was submitted.
Example: Apply by December 31, 2019 for valuation during the 2020 assessment year in order to receive property tax reduction in 2021.
The owner(s) must submit the application, a Farm Management Plan and $450 application fee. The application will not be processed without a Farm Management Plan and application fee.
- Application - Current Use Farm & Agricultural Land Classification with Same Ownership 64 0024 (Download, Fill-in)
- Application - Current Use Farm & Agricultural Land Classification with Multiple Ownership 64 0108 (Download, Fill-in)
- Certification of Contiguous Parcels with Different Ownership 64 0110 (Download, Fill-in)
- San Juan County Farm Management Plan Requirements (pdf)
- Sample Farm Management Plan (pdf)
- The Farm Management Plan requires that the owner(s) provide proof of present agriculture farm income for at least 3 of the past 5 year. Documentation includes, but not limited to: IRS 1040 Schedule F, receipts, lease agreements, expense, government payments and subsidies.
The Farm Management Plan shall become a binding part of the application or continuance and shall contain all required elements listed in the San Juan County Farm Management Plan Requirements. Nonperformance to reasonably carry out the Farm Management Plan shall be considered failure to meet the requirements of the Farm and Agricultural program and may result in withdrawal of the land from classification.
What happens after I file my application for farm and agricultural land classification?
The Assessor will review each application. The Assessor may require applicants to provide data regarding the use of the land, including, but not limited to, the productivity of typical crops, sales receipts, federal income tax returns, other related income and expense data, and any other information relevant to the application.
Time-Line for Approval and Denial:
The application shall be considered approved unless the Assessor notifies the applicant in writing prior to May 1st of the year following the year the application was submitted. Within 10 days following approval of the application, the Assessor shall submit notification of such approval to the Auditor for public recording of the tax liens on real property.
Appealing Denial of Farm and Agricultural Application:
An owner who receives notice that his or her application has been denied may appeal such denial to the San Juan County Board of Equalization. The appeal shall be filed with the Board of Equalization within 30 days after the mailing of the notice of denial.
Please click HERE for additional information on the following topics:
- Valuation of land in the Farm & Agricultural Program
- Reclassification of farm & agricultural land
- Removal of land from the Farm & Agricultural Land Program and compensating taxes
- Sale or transfer of land in the Farm & Agricultural Program