Private farmland can qualify for assessment and taxation under the Farmland Assessment Act if the land :
- Is at least five contiguous acres in area. Land less than five acres may qualify where devoted to agricultural use in conjunction with other eligible acreage under identical legal ownership. Land used in connection with farmhouse, such as landscaping, etc. cannot be included in the acreage for FAA eligibility.
- Is actively devoted to agricultural use, and the operation is managed in such a way that there is a reasonable expectation of profit.
- And if the land had been devoted to agricultural use for at least two successive years immediately preceding the tax year in which application is made; and meets average annual (per acre) production requirements.
Production Requirement Defined :
To qualify for the Farmland Assessment Act, land must produce in excess of 50 percent of the average agricultural production per acre for the given type of land and the given county or area. To determine production levels, the County Assessor will use the following sources: the most recent publication of Utah Agricultural Statistics; crop and enterprise budgets published by Utah State University; or standards established by the Tax Commission.
- A farmer grows alfalfa. The average annual production of alfalfa in his area is four tons per acre per year. To qualify he must produce more than two tons per acre per year.
- A rancher has 10 acres of irrigated pasture which would reasonably carry 10 cows or 50 sheep through the grazing season. To qualify he will need to graze more than five head of cattle or 25 sheep.
The acreage requirements may be waived if the owner can show that 80 percent or more of the owner's, purchaser's, or lessee's income is derived from agricultural products produced on the land.
The production requirement may be waived if the owner shows that the property has been in agricultural use for the previous two years and that failure to meet the production requirement in a particular year was due to no fault or act of the owner, purchaser, or lessee.
The production requirement will be waived if the land is involved in a bona-fide range improvement program, crop rotation program, or other similarly accepted agricultural practice which does not give reasonable opportunity to satisfy the production level requirement.