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Volume 4 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 1

Opinions of Counsel index

Agricultural exemption (gross sales requirement) (separately assessed parcels) - Agriculture and Markets Law, § 306:

To satisfy the gross sales requirement of section 306 of the Agriculture and Markets Law an owner of four separately assessed parcels committed to agricultural use on one application must show that the four parcels together produced a gross sales value of $10,000 averaged over the preceding two years.

We have received an inquiry relating to the computation of the $10,000 gross sales requirement of section 306 of the Agriculture and Markets Law. The applicant owns four parcels, each assessed separately, and on one application has committed all four parcels to eight years of agricultural production under section 306. The question is whether each parcel must produce a gross average sales value of $10,000 or more in order to receive an agricultural value assessment.

Article 25AA of the Agriculture and Markets Law (Agricultural Districts Law) provides for an agricultural value assessment for viable lands devoted to agricultural or horticultural use. To qualify for such an assessment, (1) the land must be not less than ten acres, (2) must have been in agricultural or horticultural production for the preceding two years, (3) must produce a gross sales value of $10,000 per year averaged over the two preceding years, and (4) must be either located within an established agricultural district or subject to an individual eight year agricultural commitment.

The Agricultural Districts Law is clear in its requirement that an applicant own not less than ten acres to be eligible for an agricultural value assessment and that the total qualified acreage produce an average $10,000 in gross sales over the two preceding years. The assessor must add the gross sales from all parcels for which application for an agricultural value assessment is made. There is no requirement that each separately assessed parcel produce $10,000 in gross sales. In the instant case, the four parcels must together produce $10,000 gross sales, and not $40,000.

June 13, 1974

Updated: