Facing high taxes, New York State buyers often ask if they can qualify for an agricultural “exemption” to reduce their property taxes. The so-called “Ag Exemption” is the difference between the property’s market value and the lower agricultural assessment. These laws were passed to protect farming activity and maintain open spaces.
The NY parcel must have at least 7 acres devoted to agriculture, producing at least $10,000 in revenues. The revenue requirement can be met by leasing land to a farmer – usually for minimal rent. Exemption values, determined by GIS maps of the Soil and Water Conservation District, are based on the quality of the soil. This information must be provided to local assessors with revenue proof every year. The law also requires that for exempted land converted to non-agricultural use within eight years, the owner will pay a penalty of five times the taxes saved in the most recent year, plus a 6% interest charge.
Your accountant can best answer any questions you might have.