Farm & Forest Act
Farm & Forest Exemption
The State of Connecticut’s General Statutes (12-107a) states that it is in the public interest to encourage the preservation of farm land, forest land, and open space land in order to maintain a readily available source of food and farm products close to the metropolitan areas of the state, to conserve the states natural resources, and to provide for the welfare and happiness of the inhabitants of the state and that it is in the public interest to prevent the forced conversion of farm land, forest land, and open space to more intensive uses as the result of economic pressures caused by the assessment thereof for purposes of property taxation at values incompatible with their preservation as such farm land, forest land and open space. In 1963, the Public Act 490 was enacted to allow assessment on farm, forest, or open space land to be based on its current use rather than market value.
Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes 12-107b Subdivision (1) The term "farm land" means any tract or tracts of land, including woodland and wasteland, constituting a farm unit.
Farm applicants will be evaluated on the following criteria. Applicants are encouraged to submit documentation which addresses the evaluation criteria listed below. The assessor may request additional information depending upon the review of an application.
- Acreage under application
- Extent to which the tracts comprising the land are contiguous
- Gross income
- Nature and value of equipment being used
- Portion of land in actual farming use
- Productivity of the land
- Advertisement, signage
- Checking account
- Farm related buildings sufficient to support operation
- Identified markets for product
- Income tax – Form F (gross farming revenues and expenses)
- Membership in farming organizations
- Permits (zoning, ground water, etc.)
- Trade name
- Zoning requirements (approvals for use)
Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes 12-107b Subdivision (2) forest land is defined as “any tract or tracts of land aggregating twenty five acres or more in area bearing tree growth that conforms to the forest stocking, distribution and condition standards established by the State Forester. It must consist of one tract of land of twenty five or more contiguous acres, which may be in contiguous municipalities; two or more tracts of land in which no single component tract of land shall consist of less than 10 acres, or any tract of land which is contiguous to a tract owned by the same owner and has been classified as forest land pursuant to this section.”
Steps for Obtaining Classification
An application to the assessor for classification of land as forest of farm must be completed and returned to our office. In addition to the application, please include the following as it pertains to you:
Along with your application (PDF), there must be a sketch of the farm and the number of acres in each land classification and their location.
- Forest Applicants
Along with your application (PDF), there must be a certified forester's report. For a list of certified foresters please contact the Department of Environmental Protection by calling 860-424-3630.
Applications are accepted from September 1 to October 31. Filing deadlines during a revaluation year are extended through December 30 by state law.
All PA490 applications (PDF) must be approved by the assessor through an inspection. Please contact our office for an appointment.