Preferential Tax Assessment Programs

Property taxes can be extremely high in areas with high development pressure. Enrollment in preferential tax assessment programs can significantly reduce your property taxes and help ease the financial burden of rural land ownership. Although the benefits of enrollment are significant, many eligible landowners are not even aware of these programs.

If you are not already enrolled in your state’s preferential tax assessment program for forest owners, you are strongly encouraged to investigate the program requirements and, if eligible, enroll through the appropriate state/county office. Some states have a planning requirement for participation in tax programs. Interested landowners should work with your forester to ensure your Forest Stewardship Plan meets the criteria for both FSP and preferential assessment programs. You are responsible for enrolling in and complying with the program.

New Jersey
New Jersey’s Farmland Assessment Program requires that landowners have a written woodland management plan. You can request your plan writer to complete a dual-purpose plan to use for both Forest Stewardship Program and Farmland Assessment enrollment.
CONTACTS:
State Regional Forester
Jack Shuart, fsnorth@ptd.net
973-786-5035

New York
New York’s Forest Tax Law Program (“480-a”) has stricter eligibility requirements, including a minimum enrollment of 50 contiguous acres and management for forest products. Because New York State DEC service foresters cannot write plans for to the 480-a program, you must have a private consulting forester write your plan. By completing a dual-purpose plan with funding from CWF, it will reduce the costs of enrolling in 480-a. Learn more about the requirements here.
CONTACTS:
Regional Foresters
Sullivan, Ulster, and Orange Counties: Mike Pogue, 845-256-3075, mxpogue@gw.dec.state.ny.us
Delaware County: Josh Borst, 607-652-3607, jxborst@gw.dec.state.ny.us

Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Farmland and Forest Land Assessment Act of 1974, also known as the Clean and Green program, does not require that landowners have a written plan to enroll. Contact your county assessor's office for eligibility requirements and application information. The National Timber Tax website has information on Clean and Green as well.
CONTACTS:
Local Tax Assessment Offices
Monroe County: 570-517-3133
Pike County: 570-296-3569
Wayne County: 570-253-5970 Ext. 4010