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The North Carolina General Assembly enacted the Present-Use Value Program, which allows reduced tax assessments for individually owned property used for agriculture, horticulture or forestry. Property accepted into this program is taxed at its “present use value” as a farm. This value is usually less than the market value of the property. The difference between the market value and the present use value is “deferred”. When the property or a portion of the property is removed from the program for any reason, the deferred taxes for the current year and the previous three years plus interest becomes due. Applications for this program are taken during the listing period in January of each year. Basic eligibility requirements follow:

 

Agricultural

Agricultural use is land that is a part of a farm unit actively engaged in the commercial production or growing of crops, plants, or animals under a sound management program. The requirements for an agricultural deferment are as follows:

  • One tract must consist of at least 10 acres that are in actual production of agricultural products.
  • May consist of more than one tract of agricultural land, but at least one of the tracts must meet the requirements and each tract must be under a sound management program.
  • Must have produced an average gross income from agricultural products of at least one thousand dollars ($1,000) per year for the three years proceeding January 1 of the year in which this benefit is claimed. Gross income includes income from the sale of the agricultural products produced from the land and any payments received under a governmental soil conservation or land retirement program.
  • If individually owned, the property must be the owner's residence or have been owned by the current owner or a relative of the current owner for four years proceeding January 1 of the year in which this benefit is claimed.
  • If property loses its eligibility for any reason, deferred taxes become due for the current year plus three previous years, plus interest for all prior years. If only a part of the qualifying tract loses its eligibility, a determination shall be made of the amount of deferred taxes applicable to that part, and that amount shall become payable with interest.

 

Forestland

Forestland use is land that is part of a forest unit that is actively engaged in the commercial growing of trees under a sound management program. The requirements for a forestland deferment are as follows:

  • One tract must consist of at least 20 acres that are in actual production of trees.
  • May consist of more than one tract of forestland, but at least one of the tracts must meet the requirements and each tract must be under a sound management program.
  • If individually owned, the property must be the owner's residence or have been owned by the current owner or a relative of the current owner for four years proceeding January 1 of the year in which the benefit is claimed.
  • If property loses its eligibility for any reason, deferred taxes become due for the current year plus three previous years, plus interest for all prior years. If only a part of the qualifying tract loses its eligibility, a determination shall be made of the amount of deferred taxes applicable to that part, and that amount shall become payable with interest.

 

Horticultural

Horticultural land means land that is a part of a horticultural unit that is actively engaged in the commercial production or growing of fruits or vegetables or nursery or floral products under a sound management program. The requirements for a horticultural deferment are as follows:

  • One tract must consist of at least 5 acres that are in actual production of horticultural products.
  • May consist of more than one tract of horticultural land, but at least one of the tracts must meet the requirements and each tract must be under a sound management program.
  • Must have produced an average gross income from horticultural products of at least one thousand dollars ($1,000) per year for the three years proceeding January 1 of the year in which this benefit is claimed. Gross income includes income from the sale of the horticultural products produced from the land and any payments received under a governmental soil conservation or land retirement program.
  • If individually owned, the property must be the owner's residence or have been owned by the current owner or a relative of the current owner for four years proceeding January 1 of the year in which the benefit is claimed.

If property loses its eligibility for any reason, deferred taxes become due for the current year plus three previous years, plus interest for all prior years. If only a part of the qualifying tract loses its eligibility, a determination shall be made of the amount of deferred taxes applicable to that part, and that amount shall become payable with interest.

   

 Present Use Application 
 

 

 

 

 Wildlife Conservation Deferment (105-277.15(c))

Requirements - Land qualifies as wildlife conservation land if it meets the following size, ownership, and use requirements:

  • Size: The land must consist of at least 20 contiguous acres
  • Ownership: The land must be owned by an individual, a family business entity, or family trust and must have been owned by the same owner for the previous five years. If the land is owned by a family trust, the land meets the ownership requirement if the land was owned by one or more beneficiaries of the family trust for the required time.
  • Use: The land must be managed under a written wildlife habitat conservation agreement with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission that is in effect as of January 1 of the year of which the benefit is claimed.

The Wildlife Habitat Conservation agreement requires the owner do one or more of the following:

  • Protect an animal species that lives on the land; conserve priority animal wildlife habitats which are longleaf pine forest, early successional habitat, small wetland communities, stream and riparian zone, rock outcrop or bat cave.
  • The land has been classified under G.S. 105-277.3 when the Wildlife Habitat Conservation agreement was signed or the owner must demonstrate to both the Wildlife Resources Commission and the assessor that the owner used the land for a purpose specified in the Wildlife Habitat Conservation agreement for three years preceding January 1st of the year for which the benefit is claimed

For assistance with a Wildlife Habitat Conservation agreement property owners must contact the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. www.ncwildlife.org/wildlife_species_con/
Agreements are only issued through the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Cherokee County does not issue agreements. Obtaining a Wildlife Habitat Conservation Agreement does not defer personal property ad valorem taxes.

The following restrictions apply to this program:

1. No more than 100 acres of an owner’s land may be classified under this section
2. Land owned by a business entity is not eligible for this program if the business entity is a corporation whose shares are publicly traded or one of its members is a corporation whose shares are publicly traded.

Property that is classified as Wildlife Conservation, must be appraised and assessed as if it were classified under NCGC 105-277.3 as agricultural land. However, the Wildlife Conservation Program is not a part of the Present-Use Value Program.

Last updated: 2/2/2017 8:31:00 PM