"Green Acres" is a tax deferral program for certain agricultural property, according to Minnesota Statute 273.111
.How do I qualify?
If you own agricultural property and if that property is devoted to the 'production for sale of agricultural products', you may be eligible for the "Green Acres" Program. Non-productive acres, such as woods, waste, sloughs, are not eligible for Green Acres.The requirements are:
How does "Green Acres" work?
- The property must be at least ten acres in size.
- The property must be homestead, farmed in conjunction with the homestead property; or the property must have been in the applicant’s family for at least seven years.
"Green Acre" applications are made to, and approved by, the County Assessor. Proper documentation to verify agricultural use may be requested, along with the application. Call the Assessor for the application form.
The Assessor determines two values on "Green Acres" property:
- The ‘actual market value’ based on sales of similar property.
- The ‘agricultural value’ based on sales of agricultural property in non-metropolitan counties from the southern border of Dakota County to the Iowa border.
Taxes are calculated on both market values, but paid on the lower, agricultural value, each year.
The difference between the tax calculated on agricultural market value and the actual market value is deferred until the property is sold or no longer qualifies for the program.
When the property is sold, or no longer qualifies, the deferred tax may be due for three years, on the part sold or no longer qualifying. The deferred tax on non-productive acres on the parcel will be due for seven years.
What about Special, Local Assessments?
Special Local Assessments are deferred while the property qualifies for "Green Acres", however, when the property sells all deferred special assessments are due.
What else should I know about "Green Acres"?
The 2009 MN State Legislature is currently considering changes to the Green Acre law. Check with the Assessor's Office for the most current information.
Non-productive acres such as sloughs, woodlands and wetlands that are not used for agricultural production will no longer be eligible for the reduced agricultural valuation and property tax deferment provided by Green Acres. Specifically, this legislation changes the number of payback years for parcels, or portions of parcels, that will no longer qualify for Green Acres because they are non-productive acres. In addition, property that is enrolled in CRP, RIM, or other conservation programs will no longer be eligible for Green Acres.
Only acres used for actual agricultural production will be eligible for Green Acres for all applications filed with the county assessor after May 1, 2008. Those enrolled in the program prior to May 1, 2008 may remain enrolled for subsequent assessment years until they are sold, withdrawn or no longer qualify, although these existing properties will be subject to the new payback requirements.
Owners of non-productive acres that are currently receiving Green Acres benefits have two options. Non-productive acres currently in the program may be withdrawn from the program or they may remain until any part of the land is sold, transferred or subdivided.
Property owners must notify the county assessor of their intention to withdraw or not withdraw their land by January 2, 2009. Land that is withdrawn will be subject to a payback of the deferred taxes on it.