Understanding Greenbelt Taxes

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By Rochford Law Posted on November 11, 2021 at 11:57 AM

When it comes to your property taxes, rates and dates will differ from state to state. However, as a general rule of thumb, if you are confused about your property taxes, exemptions or more, a local real estate attorney can make sure you take all the right steps in the process.

In Tennessee, depending on your specific piece of land, you may qualify to be a part of the Greenbelt Law. Under the Agricultural, Forest and Open Space Land Act of 1976, better known as the Greenbelt Law, certain land is taxed based on its present use instead of its market value. By reducing the tax burden on farms and forests, the law preserves food and fiber production and maintains open space for public enjoyment.

Here’s what you need to understand about Greenbelt Taxes:

  • The Greenbelt Program
  • How to Qualify
  • Land Requirements
  • Greenbelt Application Procedure

The Greenbelt Program

To better understand if your land qualifies to be protected under the Greenbelt Law, there are a few things you should know about the program. Built to protect land and the people who own that land, Greenbelt taxes can often reduce your current tax rates if you qualify.

The Greenbelt Program was established to:

  • Encourage continued production of valuable food and fiber
  • Prevent loss of family farms due to higher taxes
  • Provide relief from urban sprawl
  • Provide green spaces for public enjoyment

How to Qualify

When it comes to your property, especially if you are a local farm owner, or the owner of a large parcel of land, reducing your state property taxes and protecting your land will likely be important to you. For property to qualify for the Greenbelt Tax Program, certain criteria must be met.

This criteria can include items such as the type of land, minimum size requirements, use, and income from farming. According to the Greenbelt Law, each property owner can qualify for 1,500 acres per county. Whether an owner owns the piece of property in question on their own, with others, or as part of a corporation or partnership, each owner receives credit for their proportionate share.

The Comptroller's Division of Property Assessments determines the present use value by blending farm income with market data. Depending on the use of your land, stipulations will differ. Regardless, you will need to follow the same application process and guidelines to ensure you protect your land under the Greenbelt Law.

There are 3 types of land eligible for enrollment under the Greenbelt Program:

  • Agricultural land
  • Forest Land
  • Open Space Land

Get a free consultation with Rochford Real Estate Law Title to work with a real estate attorney today.

Land Requirements

Agricultural Land

  • A parcel must have at least 15 acres
  • Land should include woodlands, wastelands, and farm land units engaged in the production or growing of crops, plants, animals, nursery, or floral products.
  • Farm land must currently be active to be considered
  • Property must produce a minimum average annual gross farm income of $1,500 per year

Forest Land

  • Maintain a minimum of 15 acres
  • Engaged in growing trees under program of sustained yield management
  • Provide tree growth in such quantity and quality similar to a forest.
  • Obtain a forestry management plan completed by a Consulting Forester
  • Adhere to the guidelines from said Forest Plan 

Open Space Land

  • Maintain a minimum of 3 acres
  • Maintained in an open or natural condition for public use
  • Implementation of a preservation approved by state or local planning agencies

Greenbelt Application Procedure

  • Application must be completed and submitted by March 1st
  • New owners of a property currently enrolled in Greenbelt must reapply
  • Complete a notarized application for Agriculture or Forest
  • Submit an application to the Assessors office for review
  • Land Parcel will be physically reviewed

Application for Greenbelt Assessment - Agriculture
Application For Greenbelt Assessment - Forest
Application For Greenbelt Assessment- Open Space Land

After your application is accepted, you will need to record it with the Register of Deeds, for a fee of $12.00.

Hire a Professional, Tennessee Real Estate Attorney

Are you in need of assistance understanding the taxes associated with your real estate property sale or purchase? Hiring an experienced real estate attorney like Rochford Law & Real Estate Title in Nashville, TN can save you time and money in the long run.

It’s best to cover all your bases and get through a real estate transaction with as little problems as possible. However, it’s comforting to know that should a dispute pop up, a real estate attorney can help find a resolution.

Contact Rochford Law & Real Estate Title today!

Topics: Nashville Real Estate, Real Estate Attorney, Real Estate Lawyers