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Volume 3 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 33

Opinions of Counsel index

Agricultural exemption (scope) - Agriculture and Markets Law, Article 25AA; Real Property Tax Law, § 102(20):

The exemption from taxation provided by the Agricultural Districts Law includes an exemption from school district taxes.

Our opinion has been requested concerning the Agricultural Districts Law (Article 25AA of the Agriculture and Markets Law) and whether the exemption provided by this law affects school district taxes.

The purpose of this law is to provide a means whereby farmland may be protected from urban influences which increase valuation because of pressure for more intensive uses of land than farming.

Owners of eligible farmland may apply for an agricultural value ceiling assessment, which is calculated based on agricultural value per acre factors certified by the State Board of Equalization and Assessment. The assessor is required to assess farm property independently without regard to these factors, but to the extent that the regular assessment of farmland exceeds the agricultural value assessment ceiling, the property becomes exempt from taxation.

The term “taxation” means charges imposed on the real property by or on behalf of a county, city, town, village or school district for municipal or school district purposes (Real Property Tax Law, § 102(20)). Accordingly, the exemption from taxation provided by the Agricultural Districts Law would include an exemption from school district taxes.

October 4, 1973

Updated: