Classification of Agricultural Land

Reference Number: 

Any owner of land may apply for its classification as agricultural land by filing a written application with the assessor of property. The application must be filed by March 15. Reapplication thereafter is not required so long as the ownership as of the assessment date remains unchanged. Property that qualified as agricultural the year before under different ownership is disqualified if the new owner does not timely apply. The assessor must send a notice of disqualification to these owners, but must accept a late application if filed within 30 days of the notice of disqualification and accompanied by a late application fee of $50.1

The assessor must determine whether the land is agricultural land, and if such a determination is made, the assessor will classify and include it as such on the county tax roll. In determining whether the land is agricultural land, the tax assessor must take into account, among other things, the acreage of the land, the productivity of the land, and the portion thereof in actual use for farming or held for farming or agricultural operation. The assessor may presume that a tract of land is used as agricultural land if the land produces gross agricultural income averaging at least $1,500 per year over any three-year period in which the land is so classified.  The presumption may be rebutted, notwithstanding the level of agricultural income by evidence indicating whether the property is used as "agricultural land" as defined in the statute.2The assessor must verify actual agricultural uses claimed for the property during the on-site review provided under T.C.A. § 67-5-1601. The assessor may at any time require other proof of use or ownership necessary to verify compliance with the statute.3

Any person aggrieved by the denial of any application for the classification of land as agricultural land has the same rights and remedies for appeal and relief as are provided in the general statutes for taxpayers claiming to be aggrieved by the actions of assessors of property or boards of equalization.4

     1T.C.A. § 67-5-1005(a)(1).

     2T.C.A. § 67-5-1005(a)(2) and (3);

     3T.C.A. § 67-5-1005(c).

     4T.C.A. § 67-5-1005(d).