New York Agriculture & Markets Law
Agricultural Lands Outside of Districts; Agricultural Assessments
§ 306. Agricultural lands outside of districts; agricultural assessments.
1. Any owner of land used in agricultural production outside of an agricultural district shall be eligible for an agricultural assessment as provided herein. If an applicant rents land from another for use in conjunction with the applicant’s land for the production for sale of crops, livestock or livestock products, the gross sales value of such products on such rented land shall be added to the gross sales value of such products produced on the land of the applicant for purposes of determining eligibility for an agricultural assessment on the land of the applicant. Such assessment shall be granted pursuant to paragraphs a, b and f of subdivision one of section three hundred five of this article as if such land were in an agricultural district, provided the landowner annually submits to the assessor an application for an agricultural assessment on or before the taxable status date. In the year of a revaluation or update of assessments, as those terms are defined in section one hundred two of the real property tax law, the application may be filed with the assessor no later than the thirtieth day prior to the day by which the tentative assessment roll is required to be filed by law. Nothing therein shall be construed to limit an applicant’s discretion to withhold from such application any land, or portion thereof, contained within a single operation.
(i) If land which received an agricultural assessment pursuant to this section is converted at any time within eight years from the time an agricultural assessment was last received, such conversion shall subject the land so converted to payments in compensation for the prior benefits of agricultural assessments. The amount of the payments shall be equal to five times the taxes saved in the last year in which land benefited from an agricultural assessment, plus interest of six percent per year compounded annually for each year in which an agricultural assessment was granted, not exceeding five years.
(ii) The amount of taxes saved for the last year in which the land benefited from an agricultural assessment shall be determined by applying the applicable tax rates to the amount of assessed valuation of such land in excess of the agricultural assessment of such land as set forth on the last assessment roll which indicates such an excess. If only a portion of such land as described on the assessment roll is converted, the assessor shall apportion the assessment and agricultural assessment attributable to the converted portion, as determined for the last assessment roll on which the assessment of such portion exceeded its agricultural assessment. The difference between the apportioned assessment and the apportioned agricultural assessment shall be the amount upon which payments shall be determined. Payments shall be levied in the same manner as other taxes, by or on behalf of each taxing jurisdiction on the assessment roll prepared on the basis of the first taxable status date on which the assessor considers the land to have been converted; provided, however, that no payments shall be imposed if the last assessment roll upon which the property benefited from an agricultural assessment, was more than eight years prior to the year for which the assessment roll upon which payments would otherwise be levied is prepared.
(iii) Whenever a conversion occurs, the owner shall notify the assessor within ninety days of the date such conversion is commenced. If the landowner fails to make such notification within the ninety day period, the assessing unit, by majority vote of the governing body, may impose a penalty on behalf of the assessing unit of up to two times the total payments owed, but not to exceed a maximum total penalty of one thousand dollars in addition to any payments owed.
b. (i) An assessor who determines that there is liability for payments and any penalties pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph shall notify the landowner of such liability at least ten days prior to the day for hearing of complaints in relation to assessments. Such notice shall specify the area subject to payments and shall describe how such payments shall be determined. Failure to provide such notice shall not affect the levy, collection, or enforcement of payments.
(ii) Liability for payments shall be subject to administrative and judicial review as provided by law for the review of assessments.
(iii) An assessor who imposes any such payments shall annually, and within forty-five days following the date on which the final assessment roll is required to be filed, report such payments to the commissioner of taxation and finance on a form prescribed by the commissioner.
(iv) The assessing unit, by majority vote of the government body, may impose a minimum payment amount, not to exceed five hundred dollars.
c. If such land or any portion thereof is converted by virtue of oil, gas or wind exploration, development, or extraction activity or by virtue of a taking by eminent domain or other involuntary proceeding other than a tax sale, the land or portion so converted shall not be subject to payments. If land so converted constitutes only a portion of a parcel described on the assessment roll, the assessor shall apportion the assessment, and adjust the agricultural assessment attributable to the portion of the parcel not subject to such conversion by subtracting the proportionate part of the agricultural assessment attributable to the portion so converted. Provided further that land outside an agricultural district and eligible for an agricultural assessment pursuant to this section shall not be considered to have been converted to a use other than for agricultural production solely due to the conveyance of oil, gas or wind rights associated with that land.
d. The purchase of land in fee by the city of New York for watershed protection purposes or the conveyance of a conservation easement by the city of New York to the department of environmental conservation which prohibits future use of the land for agricultural purposes shall not be a conversion of parcels and no payment for the prior benefits of agricultural assessments shall be due under this section.
3. Upon the inclusion of such agricultural lands in an agricultural district formed pursuant to section three hundred three, the provisions of section three hundred five shall be controlling.
4. A payment levied pursuant to subparagraph (i) of paragraph a of subdivision two of this section shall be a lien on the entire parcel containing the converted land, notwithstanding that less than the entire parcel was converted.
5. Use of assessment for certain purposes. The governing body of a water, lighting, sewer, sanitation, fire, fire protection, or ambulance district for whose benefit a special assessment or a special ad valorem levy is imposed, may adopt a resolution to provide that the assessments determined pursuant to subdivision one of this section for property within the district shall be used for the special assessment or special ad valorem levy of such special district.