Some properties are eligible for reduced assessments through either farm use special assessment or forest special assessment. The guidelines for qualifying for farmland are influenced by zoning. Properties in an Exclusive Farm Use (EFU) zone must be farmed with the intent to make a profit. If these properties are employed in farm activity, and there are annual sales of commodities, the properties may qualify for farm use special assessment.
Properties zoned other than EFU can also qualify for farm assessment using the same guidelines, with two important differences. There are specific sales levels required and the operator must file an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Schedule F. Sales volumes must be confirmed by the IRS Schedule F or Farm Schedule and said form must be supplied to our office on request. Non-zoned properties must prove that they have met the farm income level 3 of the past 5 years before they are eligible for farm use special assessment.
Property in an EFU zone must have been farmed the prior year to be eligible for the special assessment. Property can also receive a Western Forest Special assessment and this assessment can be granted in any zone that does not prohibit logging. Forestland is identified as being held or used for the predominant purpose of growing and harvesting trees of a marketable species. The property must have at least two acres stocked with at least 200 growing conifer trees per acre. Properties can also qualify based on a formal reforestation plan.
If a property is removed from one of these special assessment programs, a disqualification penalty will be calculated and may be collected. The penalty is basically a 5 year recovery of the tax savings received by being under special assessment. Farm special assessed properties in an EFU zone are subject to a disqualification penalty of up to 10 years. Specific questions regarding these programs should be directed to 541-440-4222.
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The RMV is the Assessor’s determination of the real market value of your property. If your property is receiving special use, only the specially assessed land value is added into the RMV, not the actual market value of the land receiving special use. For the actual RMV add the Improvements plus the Land plus the Land Specification Market. The AV is the value used to calculate your taxes. Typically it is the 1995 RMV minus 10% that became the 1997 Measure 50 (M50) assessed value. Each year this amount is subject to a 3% increase, plus any exception value that arises from changes to your property improvements.
This flag is placed on properties with billed liens, properties in foreclosure or bankruptcy, and properties that have been removed from special use. When a change of use occurs, due to removal from special assessment use by owner request or from lack of use, the property is either billed for the use change or the Potential Additional Tax flag is added to the account. A property with the Potential Additional Tax flag will retain the flag until the lien is paid or the property requalifies for special use. If the property qualifies for special use it will begin ’working’ off the lien. The liens are calculated for either 5 or 10 years depending on the zoning.
This statement identifies all properties that are receiving a special assessment on their land, farm or forest. The flag informs the owner that if the land-use changes from special use there is the possibility of an additional tax to the property. This notation is also helpful to title companies, realtors, and potential buyers (in some cases, properties could be flagged for some sewer liens or road district liens).