Classification of Open Space

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The planning commission, in preparing a land use or comprehensive plan for the municipality or county, may designate in the plan areas which it recommends for preservation as areas of open space land, other than lands currently in agricultural and forestry uses. Land included in any area so designated in the plan, as finally adopted, may be classified as open space land for purposes of property taxation provided there has been no change in the use of the area which has adversely affected its essential character as an area of open space land between the date of the adoption of the plan and the date of classification.1

Any owner of land may apply for its classification as open space 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 open space land 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 $50.2

The assessor must determine whether there has been any change in the area designated as an area of open space land in the county (or municipality) plan and, if the assessor determines that there has been no change, the assessor will classify the land as open space land and include it as such upon the tax rolls of the county.3

Any person aggrieved by the denial by an assessor of any application for the classification of land as open space 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 actions of assessors or boards of equalization.4

     1T.C.A. § 67-5-1007(a)(1) and (2).

     2T.C.A. § 67-5-1007(b)(1).

     3T.C.A. § 67-5-1007(b)(2).

     4T.C.A. § 67-5-1007(c).