1. What are the basic qualifications of the Farmland Assessment Act of 1964?
• The land must have been actively devoted to agricultural or horticultural use for the two successive years immediately preceding the tax year for which farmland assessment is requested.
• The area must be at least five acres in size.
• Gross sales of agricultural of horticultural products - in addition to any payments received under a soil conservation program - must average at least $500 plus additional $5 per cropland acre and $.50 per woodland acre for each acre over 5 or there must be clear evidence of anticipated yearly gross sales and such payments amounting to at least your minimum gross sales requirement.
2. What happens if the land has been assessed for agricultural or horticultural use and the land use changes?
When land assessed under the act is changed to a use other than agricultural or horticultural, it is subject to additional or roll-back taxes. The land is subject to the payment of roll-back taxes for the year in which the change in use of the land occurs and in each of the immediately preceding two tax years in which the land was assessed under the act.
3. Will there be more inspections on my property?
Yes. The Forest Service will Inspect your accomplishments at least once every three years after the initial inspection.
4. What woodland owners are required to have a woodland management plan (WMP) and program?
If your woodland acreage total is more than 50 percent of your total agricultural and horticultural lands, you will need a WMP to qualify your additional woodlands under the act. (Exception: An owner claiming farmland farmland assessment for wooded property exceeding the amount presumed to be supportive and subordinate woodland must submit an explanation and proof to the local assessor.)
5. Will I need a WMP for all my woodlands?
Technically, no. For example, if you have 50 acres of crop land and 60 acres of woodland you would only be required to prepare a plan for 10 acres. However, it is strongly recommended that you have a WMP for all your woodlands.
6. Do I have to submit a WMP each year?
No. However, if a substantial revision is made at any time, such as for selling part of the property or changing in prescribed forestry activities, then a new WMP must be submitted and approved.
7. What is meant by a description of how the property boundaries are or will be marked and delineated?
Property boundaries should be clearly defined by one or a combination of the following features: stone walls, fence lines, posters, paint marks, hedge rows, etc. The WMP should describe what these boundary features are. Relying on corner markers to identify boundaries will not be sufficient. If they are not clear, boundaries should be marked within three years from initial application of filed WMP.
8. What happens if my woodland was under farmland assessment but fails to meet the conditions set forth in N.J.A.C. 18:152.7?
Land that fails to meet the additional conditions during the first year the conditions are imposed, will not be subject to roll-back taxes, but will be treated as land for which an annual application was not submitted.
9. What is a statement of the average overall productivity capabilities of my woodland?
State how your woodlands will meet the gross sales income requirement of the Farmland Assessment Act of 1964. The statement should include where and how will derive your annual income of $500 plus. This statement is most important when all income received is derived from your woodlands.