INSTRUCTIONS Farmland Assessment Act of 1964 (C. 48, P.L.1964, N.J.S.A. 54:4-23.1 et seq., C. 201, P.L.1986, C. 213, P.L. 2009, C.43, P.L.2013, N.J.A.C. 18:15-1.1 et seq.)
1. APPLICATION-Only one Application for Farmland Assessment, form FA-1, in duplicate, and the Supplemental Farmland Assessment Gross Sales Form, form FA-1 G.S.,
should be filed with the municipal assessor on or before August 1 of the pretax year: that is, the year immediately preceding the tax year for each farm comprised of
contiguous land. If an entry is made in Section 2, line 4, Woodland Data form WD-1 must also be filed with the FA-1 application and Supplemental FA-1 Gross Sales form.
Late or incomplete applications will be denied. At the assessor’s request, applicants must provide proofs of eligibility as to ownership, land area, farming activity and
gross sales. FA-1, FA-1 G.S. and WD-1 forms are prescribed by the Director, N.J. Division of Taxation. Lands in Farmland Preservation Programs must still meet criteria and
filing prerequisites of the Farmland Assessment Act to receive preferential reduced assessment.
Filing Extension-Assessors may grant an extension of time for filing an application, but no later than September 1 of the year immediately preceding the tax year, for an
applicant who has filed for an extension with the Farmland Assessment Application Filing Deadline Extension Form, form FA-X, if the assessor is satisfied that failure to file
by August 1 was due to (1) the owner’s illness and a physician’s certificate stating that the owner was physically incapacitated and unable to file by August 1 and the FA-1
and FA-1 G.S. forms are filed with the assessor; or (2) the death of the owner or the owner’s immediate family member and a certified copy of the death certificate and the
FA-1/ FA-1 G.S. forms are filed with the assessor by the owner or by the executor/executrix of the owner’s estate. “Immediate family member” means an owner’s spouse,
child, parent or sibling residing in the same household. (See N.J.S.A. 54:4-23.6d.)
2. QUALIFICATIONS-“Farmland assessment” means valuation, assessment and taxation under the Farmland Assessment Act. Land may be eligible for
“farmland assessment” when it meets the following:
The land has been actively devoted to agricultural or horticultural use for at least 2 successive years immediately preceding the tax year for which “farmland
assessment" is requested. (See N.J.S.A. 54:4-23.6.)
b. The land area actively devoted to agricultural or horticultural use is not less than 5 acres, exclusive of the land upon which the farmhouse is located and such additional
land actually used in connection with the farmhouse.
c. Gross sales, fees, or payments average at least $1000 annually on the first 5 acres, except for lands under a Woodland Management Plan where gross sales remain at
$500 for the first 5 acres, and average $5 per acre on all acreage above 5 acres, except $0.50 per acre on woodland & wetland above 5 acres. (N.J.S.A. 54:4-23.5.)
d. Application by the owner is filed on or before August 1 of the year immediately preceding the tax year. (See N.J.S.A. 54:4-23.13a and 54:4-23.6.)
e. If farm management unit is less than 7 acres, a descriptive narrative of agricultural/horticultural uses, a sketch of their location, and number of acres devoted is required.
SECTION 1-IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION-Complete items 1 through 9.
Item 1, "Owners’ Names”- List every individual, partnership or corporation having an ownership interest in the land.
Item 6, “Block(s), Lot(s), and Qual. No. ”- List block(s) and lot(s) comprising a farm unit of contiguous land from your tax bill; official tax map; or page(s) and line(s) from the
current year’s assessment list.
SECTION 2-BREAKDOWN OF LAND USE CLASSES-Complete items 1 through 14.
Item 1, “Cropland harvested”- is land from which a crop is harvested in the current year. It is the heart of a farming enterprise and represents the highest use of land in
Item 2, “Cropland pastured”- is land which can be used to produce crops but its maximum income may not be realized in a particular year.
Item 3, “Permanent pasture”- is land which is not cultivated because its maximum economic potential is realized from grazing or as part of erosion control programs.
Animals may or may not be part of this farm operation.
Item 4, “Non-appurtenant woodland”- is woodland devoted exclusively to production for sale of trees and forest products, except for Christmas trees which are Item 1,
Cropland Harvested. Woodland which is not “supported and subordinate” to land in classes 1, 2, or 3 should be item 4. Owners of class 4 woodland must submit a Woodland
Management Plan, scaled map of woodland activity & soil group classes, and other information. (See N.J.A.C. 18:15-2.7.)
Item 5, “Appurtenant woodland”- is woodland which is not devoted to production for sale of trees and forest products, but can be eligible for farmland assessment by being
contiguous to, part of, supportive and subordinate to, or "beneficial to a tract of land" which is 5 acres or more and otherwise actively devoted qualified farmland (Items 1, 2,
or 3). Woodland acreage less than the otherwise actively devoted qualified farmland acreage (Items 1, 2, or 3) may be considered “appurtenant woodland”. Woodland
acreage exceeding the otherwise actively devoted farmland may be "appurtenant woodland" when proof of its benefit to otherwise actively devoted farmland can be
substantiated to the assessor. (See N.J.A.C. 18:15-1.1.)
Item 6, “Acres used for boarding, rehabilitating or (livestock) training”- to be actively devoted to agricultural use must be contiguous to land which otherwise qualifies for
Item 7, “Acres used for renewable energy”- is solar, wind, or biomass energy generation 10 acres or less in area generating no more than 2 megawatts of power. The ratio of
acreage devoted to renewable energy generation facilities, structures, and equipment vs. agricultural/horticultural operations cannot exceed 1 part to 5 parts.
(See Chapter 213, Laws of 2009.) Also, fill out item 14 for type of renewable energy generated.
Item 9, “Land under and land used in connection with farmhouse”- is land on which a farmhouse is located, together with land area devoted to lawns, flower gardens, shrubs,
swimming pools, tennis courts, etc. and used with the farmhouse for its enjoyment. This land is not in agricultural or horticultural use and is assessed and taxed at true value
standards. (See N.J.S.A. 54:4-23.11.)
Item 10, “All other land not devoted to agricultural or horticultural use”- is land other than used in connection with the farmhouse that is not devoted to an agricultural or
horticultural use nor is it necessary to support land actively devoted to an agricultural or horticultural use. This land will be assessed and taxed in accordance with true value
Item 13, enter “YES” or “NO.”
Certain land uses shall be in the categories below:
Land under farm buildings
Nurseries, Christmas Trees
Land in government programs
Agricultural labor housing
SECTION 3-CURRENT YEAR FARMING ACTIVITY-insert the current year acreage or other specified information.
SECTION 4-SIGNATURE AND VERIFICATION OF OWNER(S)-For non-corporate multiple ownership, one owner is presumed to have authority and may sign on behalf of
the other co-owners. In the case of a corporate owner or co-owners, the full name of the corporation must be provided, accompanied by the signature and the title of the
corporate officer authorized to sign the application in its behalf.
OWNERSHIP-must be single ownership: that is, a unified title meaning common ownership by one distinct legal entity of one or more contiguous parcels together.
ACTIVELY DEVOTED & GROSS SALES–Land of at least 5 acres is actively devoted to agricultural or horticultural use when gross sales of agricultural/horticultural
products produced thereon, payments received under Federal soil conservation programs, fees received for breeding, raising or grazing livestock, income imputed to grazing
land as determined by the State Farmland Evaluation Committee, and fees received for boarding, rehabilitating or training livestock where the land under the boarding,
rehabilitating or training facilities is contiguous to land otherwise qualified for farmland assessment, averaged at least $1000 in the previous two years, or there is clear
evidence of anticipated yearly gross sales and payments of at least $1000 within a reasonable time period. Also where the land is more than 5 acres, gross sales must
average $5 per acre for each acre over 5. However, in the case of woodland/wetland subject to a Woodland Management Plan, the gross sales required remains at $500 for
the first 5 acres and $.50 per acre for any acreage over 5. Rents paid to owners by tenant farmers do not constitute gross sales. Generated energy from any source is not
an agricultural or horticultural product and any power or heat sold from biomass, solar, or wind energy generation is not income for valuation, assessment and taxation of
land pursuant to the "Farmland Assessment Act of 1964." The Supplemental FA-1 Gross Sales Form must be submitted with each FA-1 application.
CHANGE IN USE-ROLLBACK TAXES-a. When land in agricultural or horticultural use and valued under the Farmland Assessment Act, is put to a use other than
agricultural or horticultural, it is subject to additional taxes, known as roll-back taxes, in an amount equal to the difference between the taxes paid or payable under
“Farmland Assessment” and the taxes which would have been paid or payable had the land been valued, assessed and taxed as other land in the taxing district. b. The
roll-back taxes shall be applied in the year in which the change takes place and in such of the 2 tax years, immediately preceding, if the land was valued, assessed and
taxed under the Farmland Assessment Act. (See N.J.S.A. 54:4-23.8.)
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR NON-APPURTENANT WOODLANDS- N.J.A.C. 18:15-2.7
(a) The owner of land which is devoted exclusively to the production for sale of trees and forest products other than Christmas trees or the owner of woodland which is
not supportive and subordinate woodland shall annually submit to the assessor, in addition to a completed and timely filed application for farmland assessment
(form FA-1), the following:
1. A copy of a woodland management plan prepared in accordance with provisions noted under N.J.A.C. 18:15-2.10;
2. A scaled map of the land showing the location of woodland activity and the soil group classes of the land; and
3. A completed Woodland Data form (WD-1) approved by a State Forester.
(b) In addition to the above, for woodland located in freshwater wetland, State open water, or certain transition areas as defined in N.J.A.C. 7:7A-2 et seq. criteria for
forestry management plan as per N.J.A.C. 7:13-7 et seq. must be met. (Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act and Flood Hazard Area Control Act.)
DEFINITIONS-Agricultural Use-Land is considered to be in agricultural use when devoted to the production for sale of plants and animals useful to man, including but not
limited to: forages and sod crops; grains and feed crops; dairy animals and dairy products; poultry and poultry products; livestock, including beef cattle, sheep, swine, horses,
ponies, mules, goats or aquatic organisms, and the breeding, boarding, raising, rehabilitating, training or grazing of any or all of such animals, except that “livestock” shall not
include dogs; bees and apiary products; fur animals, trees and forest products; or when devoted to and meeting the requirements and qualifications for payments or other
compensation pursuant to a soil conservation program under an agreement with an agency of the federal government…See N.J.A.C. 18:15-2.7 for additional conditions
imposed on non-appurtenant woodland. (See N.J.S.A. 54:4-23.3.)
Horticultural Use-Land is considered to be in horticultural use when devoted to the production for sale of fruits of all kinds, including grapes, nuts and berries; vegetables;
nursery, floral ornamental and greenhouse products; or when devoted to and meeting the requirements and qualifications for payments or other compensation pursuant to a
soil conservation program under an agreement with an agency of the federal government. (See N.J.S.A. 54:4-23.4.)
“Beneficial to a tract of land” means land which enhances the use and viability of other qualifying land devoted to agricultural or horticultural production by providing
benefits such as, but not limited to, windbreaks, watershed, buffers, soil erosion control.
“Supportive and subordinate woodland" means a wooded piece of property which is beneficial to or reasonably required for the purpose of maintaining the agricultural or
horticultural uses of a tract of land, which tract of land has a minimum area of at least five acres devoted to agricultural or horticultural uses other than to the production for
sale of trees and forest products, exclusive of Christmas trees.
Helpful Links: New Jersey Department of Agriculture http://www.state.nj.us/agriculture Click on “Publications” then “For Farmers; scroll to Farmland Assessment Act.
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Forest Service http://www.nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/forest Click on “Private Lands Management” then
Farmland Assessment Program.
New Jersey Division of Taxation http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation Click on “Local Property Tax” then “Reference Materials”, then “General Assessment”. Also click
on “Statistical Data, Farmland/FEAC”.