There’s an important deadline approaching for folks who own farmland, forest land or open space. If you’d like to enroll in the state’s program that permits these types of lands to be taxed at a lower rate, you’ll have to do it by October 31. The program, created in 1963 through Public Act 490, allows “less intensively used” lands to be taxed at a rate that reflects their current use rather than their highest possible use. In doing so, the pressure to develop these lands is reduced and open space is preserved. According to the Connecticut Farm Bureau, the program has aided Connecticut in maintaining its open and wild spaces. To help educate those interested in participating in the program before the annual filing deadline, the Bureau will hold three free seminars across the state. You’ll learn about how land is classified under the program, its limitations and restrictions, and how landowners can work with their local assessors to have their property classified under the program.
Locations for the training are as follows:
Colchester, September 22
6 to 8 p.m.
Colchester Town Hall
127 Norwich Ave.
Bethel, September 28
6 to 8 p.m.
Fairfield County UConn Co-op Extension Office
67 Stony Hill Road
Windsor, October 5
6 to 8 p.m.
Connecticut Farm Bureau Association
775 Bloomfield Ave.
Since the passing of PA-490, a number of court cases have further clarified the way the law works. The act facilitates a partnership between landowner and the tax assessor and is a smart growth tool—preserving open space lands that not only add intangible aesthetic value to a town but also contribute more tax money than they consume in municipal services. But to be effective, municipal officials and landowners need to have a full understanding of the program for both to benefit.
For close to a century, the Connecticut Farm Bureau Association has provided a strong voice on state agricultural issues. As a non-governmental, voluntary organization of farm families, the bureau is united to find solutions to concerns facing production agriculture in our counties, state and nation. It works closely with state and federal regulatory agencies as well as elected officials on issues ranging from economic viability, property rights and taxation to land use planning, labor laws and farmland preservation. For information, visit: www.cfba.org.
Feel free to contact my office at 800-842-1423 if you have questions about the tax program or any other state-related issue.