Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 458

    February Session, 2018

House Bill No. 5534

House of Representatives, April 12, 2018

The Committee on Planning and Development reported through REP. LEMAR of the 96th Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the House, that the bill ought to pass.

AN ACT CONCERNING THE CLASSIFICATION OF FARM LAND.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 12-107c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018, and applicable to assessment years commencing on or after October 1, 2018):

(a) An owner of land may apply for its classification as farm land on any grand list of a municipality by filing a written application for such classification with the assessor thereof not earlier than thirty days before or later than thirty days after the assessment date, provided in a year in which a revaluation of all real property in accordance with section 12-62 becomes effective such application may be filed not later than ninety days after such assessment date. The assessor shall determine whether such land is farm land and, if such assessor determines that it is farm land, he or she shall classify and include it as such on the grand list. In determining whether such land is farm land, such assessor shall take into account, among other things, the acreage of such land, the portion thereof in actual use for farming or agricultural operations, the productivity of such land, the gross income derived therefrom, the nature and value of the equipment used in connection therewith, and the extent to which the tracts comprising such land are contiguous. The assessor shall not deny the application of an owner of land for classification of such land as farm land if such land meets the criteria for classification as farm land pursuant to this subsection.

(b) An application for classification of land as farm land shall be made upon a form prescribed by the Commissioner of Agriculture and shall set forth a description of the land, a general description of the use to which it is being put, a statement of the potential liability for tax under the provisions of sections 12-504a to 12-504f, inclusive, and such other information as the assessor may require to aid the assessor in determining whether such land qualifies for such classification.

(c) Failure to file an application for classification of land as farm land within the time limit prescribed in subsection (a) and in the manner and form prescribed in subsection (b) shall be considered a waiver of the right to such classification on such assessment list.

(d) Any person aggrieved by the denial of any application for the classification of land as farm land shall have the same rights and remedies for appeal and relief as are provided in the general statutes for taxpayers claiming to be aggrieved by the doings of assessors or boards of assessment appeals.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2018, and applicable to assessment years commencing on or after October 1, 2018

12-107c

PD

Joint Favorable

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill specifies that assessors shall classify farmland as PA 490 land if the land meets the criteria, unchanged by the bill, for such classification. This has no fiscal impact, as assessors are already required to do this under current law.

The Out Years

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

OLR Bill Analysis

HB 5534

AN ACT CONCERNING THE CLASSIFICATION OF FARM LAND.

SUMMARY

This bill requires tax assessors to approve applications to classify as farm land any land that meets the farm land criteria under the PA 490 program (see BACKGROUND). Existing law, unchanged by the bill, requires tax assessors, when a timely application is made to classify land as farm land under the program, to (1) determine whether the subject land qualifies as such and (2) if so, classify it as such on the municipality's grand list.

By law, “farm land” is any tract or tracts of land, including woodland and wasteland, constituting a farm unit. In determining whether land is farm land, a tax assessor must consider, among other things, total acreage; the portion being used for agricultural purposes; productivity; gross income derived from the land; the nature and value of related equipment; and the extent to which farm land tracts are contiguous (CGS 12-107b & 12-107c).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018 and applicable to assessment years beginning on or after that date.

BACKGROUND

PA 490 Program

In 1963, the legislature enacted PA 63-490, commonly referred to as “PA 490” or the “490 program” (CGS 12-107a et seq.). The program allows four classifications of land—farm, forest, open space, and maritime heritage land—to be assessed at their current use value, rather than their fair market value (CGS 12-63). “Current use value” refers to what the land is worth as it is actually used; “fair market value” refers to what the land may be worth on the open market (i.e., its highest and best use).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Planning and Development Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

22

Nay

0

(03/26/2018)

TOP