PUBLIC ACT 490 – FARM, FOREST, AND OPEN SPACE
Public Act 490 provides for the valuation of land that is used and classified as farm, forest, or open space. When land is classified as farm land, forest land, or open space, its assessment is based on its use value rather than on market value. The use values are recommended by the Office of Policy and Management and the Department of Agriculture and are updated every five years.
To qualify for classification of land as farm land, the land must actively be farmed and an application must be made to the Assessor’s Office.
To qualify for classification of land as forest land, the land must consist of 25 contiguous acres of forest land, or be multiple tracts that contain 10 or more acres per parcel that equate to 25 acres. The land must be reported as forest land by a certified forester, and an application for the classification must be made to the Assessor’s Office.
To qualify for classification of land as open space, the designated open space must be undeveloped land of at least 10 acres. If there is a dwelling or any structure on the parcel, you must also have the minimum lot size(currently 2 acres) in addition to the 10 acres. The land cannot be commercial or industrial zoned. Applications must be submitted to the Assessor.
The application period for PA490 land is between September 1 and October 31 in a non-revaluation year. In a revaluation year the application period is between September 1 and December 30.
Because the intent of PA490 is the preservation of Connecticut’s farm, forest, and open space lands, once such lands are classified they become subject to a conveyance tax penalty upon a sale or change of use within a ten-year period.
A link to the Connecticut Farm Bureau Association can be found here.