Volume 4 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 15
Agricultural exemption (acreage requirement) (separately assessed parcels) - Agriculture and Markets Law, § 306:
There is no requirement in the Agricultural Districts Law that the eligible acreage be either contiguous or be entirely within the jurisdictional boundaries of the taxing municipality.
Our opinion has been requested concerning section 306 of the Agriculture and Markets Law. The facts are that an applicant owns the requisite ten acres of eligible farmland but that the ten acres are divided by a political boundary. The total acreage is contiguous, but in the town in question, there is less than ten acres.
Article 25AA of the Agriculture and Markets Law (Agricultural Districts Law) provides that an owner of not less than ten acres of eligible farmland may apply for an agricultural value assessment. Such land must have been in agricultural production for the preceding two years and must have produced a gross average sales value of $10,000 per year over that two year period. The law also states that in order to be eligible for an agricultural value assessment, the land must be either located within an established agricultural district (§ 305) or must be subject to an eight year individual commitment to continued agricultural use (§ 306).
There is no requirement in the Agricultural Districts Law that the eligible acreage be either contiguous or be entirely within the jurisdictional boundaries of the taxing municipality. Once the assessor has determined that the applicant owns at least ten acres of eligible agricultural lands he must compute the agricultural value assessment for the portion of that land which lies in his jurisdiction. It would be within the province of the assessor to require the applicant to prove ownership and eligibility of the acreage located outside of his jurisdiction.
September 23, 1974