This is an extremely important act that was passed by all 50 states in the 1960’s to allow farmland, forestry, or open space to be assessed at its use rather than its fair market value or highest and best use as determined by an assessor. Without this law, many land owners would simply not be able to afford land that has been passed down from generation to generation as the taxes would be outrageous.
Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding land use assessment and valuations differ from town to town. The State Law in CT sets no minimum acreage requirements to qualify but the individual township may have guidelines. Many towns in CT require a minimum of 25 acres. In CT you must have your land designated as “Forestry” through the Forestry Division of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection through the use of a private certified forester. Once you have obtained this designation then you must go to your local assessor with an application that is submitted between September 1st and October 31st of each year.
Be careful!!! Do not think that you can lower your Assessment in an effort to attract a buyer who would otherwise be dissuaded due to high taxes. If your land is taken out of farm, forestry, or open space classification, you may be subject to a conveyance tax penalty, especially if this occurs within a ten year period of the initial designation.
For more information please visit the CT Department of Agriculture.