Farm & Forest Program FAQ

Q: Does the penalty period begin again upon an excepted transfer?
A: Public Act 14-33 clarifies that the penalty period does not begin again.

Q: If a property is owned by more than one person, who signs the application for classification as farm and forest?
A: All owners must sign the application.

Q: If one or more of the owners die, do the survivors have to re-file?
A: Yes, when the property transfers to the heirs, they must file an updated application.

Q: Are Trusts and LLC’s considered excepted transfers (individual owner(s) to an LLC)?
A: Yes, principals of the trusts must be exactly the same original owners.

Q: A tract of forest land held in one name and comprised of several parcels. The owner transfers several parcels to a trust or LLC leaving the required 25 acres in the original tract. Is a Certified Forester’s Report required?
A: Yes, any transfer of forest land that has not been certified by a Forester within ten years must have a Certified Forester’s Report submitted.

Q: Is there minimum acreage required for forest land classification?
A: Yes.

  1. One tract of land twenty-five acres or more contiguous acres, which may be in contiguous municipalities;
  2. Two or more tracts of land aggregating twenty-five acres or more in which no single component tract shall consist of less than ten acres, or;
  3. Any tract of land which is contiguous to a tract owned by the same owner and has been classified as forest land.

Q: Can forest land parcels be held in different names, i.e. John Smith on a parcel of 15 acres and John Q. Smith Jr. on a separate parcel of 10 acres?
A: No. the ownership must be identical. This is a requirement by the Forester’s regulations in order to certify the parcels.

Q: Is there a minimum acreage for a farm?
A: No, however, if there are zoning regulations in the municipality they cannot be overlooked.

Q: Is the land under agricultural outbuildings eligible for P.A. 490 value?
A: Yes. It is generally accepted that in order to operate a bona fide farm, buildings to house livestock, equipment, feed, silage, etc. are necessary.

Q: What is considered "woodland as part of the farm unit"?
A: It is generally accepted that non-farmable wooded land that is part of a bona fide farm can be considered eligible for farmland value if it is being used by the farmer for agriculture purposes. Non-farmable wooded land that is not associated with a farm, for example land leased to a farmer by an owner who is not a farmer is generally not eligible.