7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill amends property tax provisions related to property assessed under the
10 Farmland Assessment Act.
11 Highlighted Provisions:
12 This bill:
13 ▸ defines terms;
14 ▸ amends provisions related to proving implementation of a bona fide range
15 improvement program ; and
16 ▸ makes technical changes.
17 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
19 Other Special Clauses:
21 Utah Code Sections Affected:
23 59-2-502, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2017, Chapter 319
24 59-2-503, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2013, Chapter 322
26 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
27 Section 1. Section 59-2-502 is amended to read:
28 59-2-502. Definitions.
29 As used in this part:
30 (1) "Actively devoted to agricultural use" means that the land in agricultural use
31 produces in excess of 50% of the average agricultural production per acre:
32 (a) as determined under Section 59-2-503; and
33 (b) for:
34 (i) the given type of land; and
35 (ii) the given county or area.
36 (2) "Bona fide range improvement program" means a rangeland improvement project
37 that is generally recognized by the grazing and livestock industry.
38 (3) "Bona fide range improvement program plan" means a plan that:
39 (a) is in writing;
40 (b) describes the bona fide range improvement program that the owner of the land is
41 implementing; and
42 (c) includes:
43 (i) a list of the rangeland improvements that the owner of the land is implementing;
44 (ii) the timing for implementation and termination of the bona fide range improvement
45 program Ĥ→ , together with a description of the proposed activity on the land when the land is
45a returned to agricultural use ←Ĥ ; and
46 (iii) the address, parcel number, or other information that identifies the land.
50 (a) identical legal parties; or
51 (b) identical legal entities.
53 (a) land devoted to the raising of useful plants and animals with a reasonable
54 expectation of profit, including:
55 (i) forages and sod crops;
56 (ii) grains and feed crops;
57 (iii) livestock as defined in Section 59-2-102;
58 (iv) trees and fruits; or
59 (v) vegetables, nursery, floral, and ornamental stock; or
60 (b) land devoted to and meeting the requirements and qualifications for payments or
61 other compensation under a crop-land retirement program with an agency of the state or federal
64 (a) five or more contiguous acres;
65 (b) eligible for assessment under this part; and
66 (c) (i) located in the same county as land described in Subsection 59-2-503(1)(a); or
67 (ii) contiguous across county lines with land described in Subsection 59-2-503(1)(a) as
68 provided in Section 59-2-512.
70 (a) parcels of ground are laid out and mapped by their boundaries, course, and extent;
72 (b) the plat has been approved as provided in Section 10-9a-604 or 17-27a-604.
75 part is no longer assessed under this part or eligible for assessment under this part for any
76 reason including that:
77 (a) an owner voluntarily requests that the land be withdrawn from this part;
78 (b) the land is no longer actively devoted to agricultural use;
79 (c) (i) the land has a change in ownership; and
80 (ii) (A) the new owner fails to apply for assessment under this part as required by
81 Section 59-2-509; or
82 (B) (I) an owner applies for assessment under this part as required by Section
83 59-2-509; and
84 (II) the land does not meet the requirements of this part to be assessed under this part;
85 (d) (i) the legal description of the land changes; and
86 (ii) (A) an owner fails to apply for assessment under this part as required by Section
87 59-2-509; or
88 (B) (I) an owner applies for assessment under this part as required by Section
89 59-2-509; and
90 (II) the land does not meet the requirements of this part to be assessed under this part;
91 (e) if required by the county assessor, the owner of the land:
92 (i) fails to file a new application as provided in Subsection 59-2-508(5); or
93 (ii) fails to file a signed statement as provided in Subsection 59-2-508(5); or
94 (f) except as provided in Section 59-2-503, the land fails to meet a requirement of
95 Section 59-2-503.
96 Section 2. Section 59-2-503 is amended to read:
97 59-2-503. Qualifications for agricultural use assessment.
98 (1) For general property tax purposes, [
99 assess land on the basis of the value that the land has for agricultural use [
100 (a) (i) if the land is not less than five contiguous acres in area[
103 (ii) (A) if the land is devoted to agricultural use in conjunction with other eligible
104 acreage; and
105 (B) if the land and the other eligible acreage described in Subsection (1)(a)[
106 have identical legal ownership; or
108 (b) except as provided in Subsection (5) or (6):
109 (i) if the land is actively devoted to agricultural use; and
110 (ii) if the land has been actively devoted to agricultural use for at least two successive
111 years immediately preceding the tax year for which the land is being assessed under this part.
112 (2) In determining whether land is actively devoted to agricultural use, production per
113 acre for a given county or area and a given type of land shall be determined by using the first
114 applicable of the following:
115 (a) production levels reported in the current publication of the Utah Agricultural
117 (b) current crop budgets developed and published by Utah State University; and
118 (c) other acceptable standards of agricultural production designated by the commission
119 by rule adopted in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking
121 (3) [
122 land's agricultural value if the land:
123 (a) is subject to the privilege tax imposed by Section 59-4-101;
124 (b) is owned by the state or any of the state's political subdivisions; and
125 (c) meets the requirements of Subsection (1).
126 (4) [
127 board of equalization may grant a waiver of the acreage limitation for land upon:
128 (a) appeal by the owner; and
129 (b) submission of proof that:
130 (i) 80% or more of the owner's, purchaser's, or lessee's income is derived from
131 agricultural products produced on the property in question; or
132 (ii) (A) the failure to meet the acreage requirement arose solely as a result of an
133 acquisition by a governmental entity by[
134 imminence of an eminent domain proceeding;
135 (B) the land is actively devoted to agricultural use; and
136 (C) no change occurs in the ownership of the land.
137 (5) (a) [
138 a waiver of the requirement that the land is actively devoted to agricultural use for the tax year
139 for which the land is being assessed under this part upon:
140 (i) appeal by the owner; and
141 (ii) submission of proof that:
142 (A) the land was assessed on the basis of agricultural use for at least two years
143 immediately preceding that tax year; and
144 (B) the failure to meet the agricultural production requirements for that tax year was
145 due to no fault or act of the owner, purchaser, or lessee.
146 (b) As used in Subsection (5)(a), "fault" does not include:
147 (i) intentional planting of crops or trees [
148 do not give the owner, purchaser, or lessee a reasonable opportunity to satisfy the production
149 levels required for land actively devoted to agricultural use; or
150 (ii) implementation of a bona fide range improvement program, crop rotation program,
151 or other similar accepted cultural practices [
152 lessee a reasonable opportunity to satisfy the production levels required for land actively
153 devoted to agricultural use.
154 (c) (i) An owner of land that fails to meet the agricultural production requirements for
155 the tax year due to implementation of a bona fide range improvement program shall submit to a
156 county assessor or a county board of equalization a copy of the bona fide range improvement
157 program plan within 45 days after the day on which a county assessor or a county board of
158 equalization requests the bona fide range improvement program plan.
159 (ii) A county assessor or a county board of equalization shall accept any bona fide
160 range improvement program plan that meets the requirements of Subsection 59-2-502(3).
161 (6) Land that otherwise qualifies for assessment under this part qualifies for assessment
162 under this part in the first year the land resumes being actively devoted to agricultural use if:
163 (a) the land becomes ineligible for assessment under this part only as a result of a split
164 estate mineral rights owner exercising the right to extract a mineral; and
165 (b) the land qualified for assessment under this part in the year immediately preceding
166 the year the land became ineligible for assessment under this part only as a result of a split
167 estate mineral rights owner exercising the right to extract a mineral.
168 (7) Land that otherwise qualifies under Subsection (1) to be assessed on the basis of the
169 value that the land has for agricultural use does not lose that qualification by becoming subject
170 to a forest stewardship plan developed under Section 65A-8a-106 under which the land is
171 subject to a temporary period of limited use or nonuse.