State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > New-york > Agm > Article-25-aa > 305

§ 305. Agricultural  districts;  effects. 1. Agricultural assessments.  a.   Any owner  of  land  used  in  agricultural  production  within  an  agricultural  district  shall be eligible for an agricultural assessment  pursuant to this section. If an applicant rents land  from  another  for  use in conjunction with the applicant's land for the production for sale  of crops, livestock or livestock products, the gross sales value of such  products  produced on such rented land shall be added to the gross sales  value of such products  produced  on  the  land  of  the  applicant  for  purposes  of  determining  eligibility for an agricultural assessment on  the land of the applicant. Such assessment shall be granted only upon an  annual application by the owner of such land on a form prescribed by the  state board of real property services. The applicant  shall  furnish  to  the  assessor  such  information  as  the  state  board of real property  services shall require, including  classification  information  prepared  for the applicant's land or water bodies used in agricultural production  by  the  soil  and water conservation district office within the county,  and  information  demonstrating   the   eligibility   for   agricultural  assessment of any land used in conjunction with rented land as specified  in  paragraph b of subdivision four of section three hundred one of this  article. Such application shall  be  filed  with  the  assessor  of  the  assessing  unit  on  or  before  the  appropriate  taxable  status date;  provided, however, that (i) in the year of a revaluation  or  update  of  assessments,  as  those  terms are defined in section one hundred two of  the real property tax  law,  the  application  may  be  filed  with  the  assessor  no  later than the thirtieth day prior to the day by which the  tentative assessment roll is required to be filed by  law;  or  (ii)  an  application for such an assessment may be filed with the assessor of the  assessing  unit  after the appropriate taxable status date but not later  than the last date on which a petition with  respect  to  complaints  of  assessment  may  be  filed,  where  failure to file a timely application  resulted from: (a) a death of the  applicant's  spouse,  child,  parent,  brother or sister, (b) an illness of the applicant or of the applicant's  spouse,  child,  parent,  brother or sister, which actually prevents the  applicant from filing on a timely basis,  as  certified  by  a  licensed  physician,  or  (c) the occurrence of a natural disaster, including, but  not limited  to,  a  flood,  or  the  destruction  of  such  applicant's  residence,  barn  or  other farm building by wind, fire or flood. If the  assessor is satisfied that the applicant is entitled to an  agricultural  assessment,  the  assessor  shall  approve  the application and the land  shall be assessed pursuant to this section. Not less than ten days prior  to the date for hearing  complaints  in  relation  to  assessments,  the  assessor  shall  mail  to  each  applicant,  who  has  included with the  application at least one self-addressed, pre-paid envelope, a notice  of  the  approval  or  denial  of the application. Such notice shall be on a  form prescribed by the state board of real property services which shall  indicate the manner in which the total  assessed  value  is  apportioned  among  the  various  portions  of  the  property subject to agricultural  assessment and those other portions of the  property  not  eligible  for  agricultural  assessment as determined for the tentative assessment roll  and the latest final assessment roll. Failure to mail any such notice or  failure of the owner to receive the same shall  not  prevent  the  levy,  collection  and  enforcement  of  the  payment of the taxes on such real  property.    b. That portion  of  the  value  of  land  utilized  for  agricultural  production  within  an  agricultural district which represents an excess  above the agricultural assessment as determined in accordance with  this  subdivision  shall not be subject to real property taxation. Such excessamount if any shall be entered on the  assessment  roll  in  the  manner  prescribed by the state board of real property services.    c.  (i)  The assessor shall utilize the agricultural assessment values  per acre certified pursuant to section  three  hundred  four-a  of  this  article  in  determining  the amount of the assessment of lands eligible  for agricultural assessments by multiplying those values by  the  number  of acres of land utilized for agricultural production and adjusting such  result by application of the latest state equalization rate or a special  equalization rate as may be established and certified by the state board  of  real property services for the purpose of computing the agricultural  assessment pursuant to this paragraph. This resulting  amount  shall  be  the agricultural assessment for such lands.    (ii)  Where the latest state equalization rate exceeds one hundred, or  where a special equalization rate which would otherwise  be  established  for  the  purposes  of  this section would exceed one hundred, a special  equalization rate of one hundred shall be established and  certified  by  the state board for the purpose of this section.    (iii)  Where  a  special  equalization  rate  has been established and  certified by the state board for the purposes  of  this  paragraph,  the  assessor  is  directed  and  authorized  to  recompute  the agricultural  assessment on the assessment roll by applying such special  equalization  rate  instead  of  the  latest  state equalization rate, and to make the  appropriate  corrections  on  the  assessment  roll,  subject   to   the  provisions of title two of article twelve of the real property tax law.    d.  (i)  If  land  within  an  agricultural district which received an  agricultural assessment  is  converted  parcels,  as  described  on  the  assessment  roll  which  include  land  so converted shall be subject to  payments equalling five times the taxes saved in the last year in  which  the land benefited from an agricultural assessment, plus interest of six  percent  per  year  compounded  annually  for  each  year  in  which  an  agricultural assessment was  granted,  not  exceeding  five  years.  The  amount of taxes saved for the last year in which the land benefited from  an   agricultural   assessment  shall  be  determined  by  applying  the  applicable tax rates to the excess amount of assessed valuation of  such  land  over  its  agricultural  assessment  as  set  forth  on  the  last  assessment roll which indicates such an excess. If only a portion  of  a  parcel  as  described  on the assessment roll is converted, the assessor  shall apportion the assessment and agricultural assessment  attributable  to the converted portion, as determined for the last assessment roll for  which   the   assessment  of  such  portion  exceeded  its  agricultural  assessment. The difference between the apportioned  assessment  and  the  apportioned  agricultural  assessment  shall  be  the  amount upon which  payments shall be determined. Payments shall be added by or on behalf of  each taxing jurisdiction to the taxes  levied  on  the  assessment  roll  prepared  on  the  basis  of  the first taxable status date on which the  assessor considers the land to have been converted;  provided,  however,  that no payments shall be imposed if the last assessment roll upon which  the  property  benefited  from an agricultural assessment, was more than  five years prior to the year for which the assessment  roll  upon  which  payments would otherwise be levied is prepared.    (ii) Whenever a conversion occurs, the owner shall notify the assessor  within  ninety  days  of  the  date such conversion is commenced. If the  landowner fails to make such notification within the ninety day  period,  the assessing unit, by majority vote of the governing body, may impose a  penalty  on  behalf  of  the assessing unit of up to two times the total  payments owed, but not to exceed a maximum total penalty of five hundred  dollars in addition to any payments owed.(iii) (a) An assessor who  determines  that  there  is  liability  for  payments  and  any  penalties  assessed pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of  this paragraph shall notify the landowner by mail of such  liability  at  least  ten  days prior to the date for hearing complaints in relation to  assessments.  Such  notice shall indicate the property to which payments  apply and describe how the payments  shall  be  determined.  Failure  to  provide such notice shall not affect the levy, collection or enforcement  or payment of payments.    (b)  Liability  for  payments  shall  be subject to administrative and  judicial review as provided by law for review of assessments.    (iv) If such land or any portion thereof is converted to a  use  other  than  for  agricultural  production  by  virtue  of  oil,  gas  or  wind  exploration, development, or extraction  activity  or  by  virtue  of  a  taking  by  eminent  domain or other involuntary proceeding other than a  tax sale, the land or portion so  converted  shall  not  be  subject  to  payments.  If  the  land  so  converted  constitutes only a portion of a  parcel described on the assessment roll, the  assessor  shall  apportion  the  assessment,  and adjust the agricultural assessment attributable to  the portion of the parcel not subject to such conversion by  subtracting  the  proportionate  part  of the agricultural assessment attributable to  the  portion  so  converted.  Provided  further  that  land  within   an  agricultural  district and eligible for an agricultural assessment shall  not be considered to have  been  converted  to  a  use  other  than  for  agricultural production solely due to the conveyance of oil, gas or wind  rights associated with that land.    (v)  An  assessor  who  imposes  any such payments shall annually, and  within forty-five days following the date on which the final  assessment  roll is required to be filed, report such payments to the state board of  real property services on a form prescribed by the state board.    (vi)  The  assessing unit, by majority vote of the governing body, may  impose a minimum payment amount, not to exceed one hundred dollars.    (vii) The purchase of land  in  fee  by  the  city  of  New  York  for  watershed  protection  purposes  or  the  conveyance  of  a conservation  easement by the city of New York  to  the  department  of  environmental  conservation  which  prohibits  future  use of the land for agricultural  purposes shall not be a conversion of parcels and no  payment  shall  be  due under this section.    e. In connection with any district created under section three hundred  four  of this article, the state shall provide assistance to each taxing  jurisdiction in an amount equal to one-half of the tax loss that results  from requests for agricultural assessments in the district.  The  amount  of  such  tax loss shall be computed annually by applying the applicable  tax  rate  to  an  amount  computed  by  subtracting  the   agricultural  assessment  from  the  assessed  value of the property on the assessment  roll  completed  and  filed  prior  to  July  first,  nineteen   hundred  seventy-one,  taking  into  consideration  any  change  in  the level of  assessment. The chief fiscal officer of a taxing  jurisdiction  entitled  to  state  assistance under this article shall make application for such  assistance to the state board  of  real  property  services  on  a  form  approved  by  such  board  and  containing such information as the board  shall require. Upon approval of the  application  by  such  board,  such  assistance  shall be apportioned and paid to such taxing jurisdiction on  the  audit  and  warrant  of  the  state  comptroller  out   of   moneys  appropriated  by  the  legislature  for  the  purpose  of  this article;  provided, however, that any such assistance payment shall be reduced  by  one-half  the  amount  of  any payments levied under subparagraph (i) of  paragraph d of this subdivision, for land in any district created  under  section  three  hundred four of this article, unless one-half the amountof such payments has already been used to reduce a  previous  assistance  payment under this paragraph.    f.  Notwithstanding  any inconsistent general, special or local law to  the contrary, if a natural disaster, act of God,  or  continued  adverse  weather  conditions  shall  destroy the agricultural production and such  fact is certified by the cooperative extension service and, as a result,  such production does not produce an average gross  sales  value  of  ten  thousand  dollars  or  more,  the  owner may nevertheless qualify for an  agricultural assessment provided the owner shall  substantiate  in  such  manner  as  prescribed by the state board of real property services that  the agricultural production initiated on such land would  have  produced  an average gross sales value of ten thousand dollars or more but for the  natural disaster, act of God or continued adverse weather conditions.    3.  Policy  of  state  agencies.  It  shall be the policy of all state  agencies to encourage the maintenance of viable farming in  agricultural  districts  and  their administrative regulations and procedures shall be  modified to this end insofar as is  consistent  with  the  promotion  of  public  health  and  safety  and  with  the  provisions  of  any federal  statutes, standards, criteria, rules, regulations, or policies, and  any  other  requirements of federal agencies, including provisions applicable  only to obtaining federal grants, loans, or other funding.    4. Limitation on the exercise  of  eminent  domain  and  other  public  acquisitions,  and  on the advance of public funds. a. Any agency of the  state, any public benefit corporation  or  any  local  government  which  intends  to  acquire  land  or  any  interest therein, provided that the  acquisition from any one actively  operated  farm  within  the  district  would  be in excess of one acre or that the total acquisition within the  district would be in excess of ten acres, or which intends to construct,  or advance a grant, loan, interest  subsidy  or  other  funds  within  a  district  to  construct, dwellings, commercial or industrial facilities,  or water or sewer facilities to serve non-farm structures, shall use all  practicable means in undertaking such action to realize the  policy  and  goals  set  forth in this article, and shall act and choose alternatives  which,  consistent   with   social,   economic   and   other   essential  considerations,  to  the  maximum  extent practicable, minimize or avoid  adverse impacts on  agriculture  in  order  to  sustain  a  viable  farm  enterprise  or enterprises within the district. The adverse agricultural  impacts to be minimized or avoided shall include impacts revealed in the  notice of intent process described in this subdivision.    b. As early as possible in the development of a proposal of an  action  described in paragraph a of this subdivision, but in no event later than  the  date  of  any  determination  as to whether an environmental impact  statement  need  be  prepared  pursuant  to   article   eight   of   the  environmental  conservation  law,  the agency, corporation or government  proposing an action described in paragraph a of this  subdivision  shall  file  a  preliminary  notice of its intent with the commissioner and the  county agricultural and farmland protection board  in  such  manner  and  form  as  the  commissioner  may  require. Such preliminary notice shall  include the following:    (i) a brief description of the proposed action  and  its  agricultural  setting;    (ii)  a  summary of any anticipated adverse impacts on farm operations  and agricultural resources within the district; and    (iii) such other information as the commissioner may require.    c. The agency, corporation or government proposing  the  action  shall  also,  at  least sixty-five days prior to such acquisition, construction  or advance of public funds, file a  final  notice  of  intent  with  the  commissioner  and the county agricultural and farmland protection board.Such final notice shall include a detailed agricultural impact statement  setting forth the following:    (i) a detailed description of the proposed action and its agricultural  setting;    (ii)   the  agricultural  impact  of  the  proposed  action  including  short-term and long-term effects;    (iii) any adverse agricultural effects which cannot be avoided  should  the proposed action be implemented;    (iv) alternatives to the proposed action;    (v)  any  irreversible  and  irretrievable commitments of agricultural  resources which would be involved in the proposed action  should  it  be  implemented;    (vi)  mitigation  measures  proposed to minimize the adverse impact of  the proposed action on the continuing viability of a farm enterprise  or  enterprises within the district;    (vii)  any  aspects  of  the  proposed  action  which  would encourage  non-farm development, where applicable and appropriate; and    (viii) such other information as the commissioner may require.    The commissioner shall promptly determine whether the final notice  is  complete  or  incomplete.  If  the  commissioner  does  not  issue  such  determination within thirty days,  the  final  notice  shall  be  deemed  complete.  If  the  final  notice  is  determined  to be incomplete, the  commissioner shall notify the party proposing the action in  writing  of  the  reasons for that determination. Any new submission shall commence a  new  period  for  department  review   for   purposes   of   determining  completeness.    d.  The provisions of paragraphs b and c of this subdivision shall not  apply and shall be deemed waived by the owner of the land to be acquired  where such owner signs a document to such effect and provides a copy  to  the commissioner.    e.  Upon  notice  from  the commissioner that he or she has accepted a  final  notice  as  complete,  the  county  agricultural   and   farmland  protection board may, within thirty days, review the proposed action and  its  effects  on  farm  operations and agricultural resources within the  district,  and  report  its  findings   and   recommendations   to   the  commissioner  and  to  the  party  proposing  the  action in the case of  actions proposed by a state agency or public  benefit  corporation,  and  additionally  to  the county legislature in the case of actions proposed  by local government agencies.    f. Upon receipt and acceptance of a  final  notice,  the  commissioner  shall  thereupon  forward  a  copy of such notice to the commissioner of  environmental conservation and the advisory council on agriculture.  The  commissioner,  in  consultation  with  the commissioner of environmental  conservation and the advisory council on agriculture, within  forty-five  days  of  the  acceptance  of  a final notice, shall review the proposed  action and make an initial determination whether such action would  have  an  unreasonably  adverse  effect  on the continuing viability of a farm  enterprise or enterprises within the district,  or  state  environmental  plans, policies and objectives.    If  the  commissioner  so determines, he or she may (i) issue an order  within the forty-five day period  directing  the  state  agency,  public  benefit  corporation  or local government not to take such action for an  additional period of sixty days immediately  following  such  forty-five  day period; and (ii) review the proposed action to determine whether any  reasonable and practicable alternative or alternatives exist which would  minimize  or avoid the adverse impact on agriculture in order to sustain  a viable farm enterprise or enterprises within the district.The commissioner may hold a public hearing  concerning  such  proposed  action  at a place within the district or otherwise easily accessible to  the district upon notice in a newspaper  having  a  general  circulation  within   the  district,  and  individual  notice,  in  writing,  to  the  municipalities   whose   territories   encompass   the   district,   the  commissioner of environmental  conservation,  the  advisory  council  on  agriculture  and  the  state agency, public benefit corporation or local  government proposing to take such action. On or before the conclusion of  such additional sixty day period, the commissioner shall report  his  or  her  findings to the agency, corporation or government proposing to take  such action, to any public agency having  the  power  of  review  of  or  approval  of  such  action,  and,  in  a  manner  conducive  to the wide  dissemination of such findings,  to  the  public.  If  the  commissioner  concludes  that a reasonable and practicable alternative or alternatives  exist which would minimize or avoid the adverse impact of  the  proposed  action, he or she shall propose that such alternative or alternatives be  accepted.  If the agency, corporation or government proposing the action  accepts the commissioner's proposal, then the requirements of the notice  of intent filing shall be deemed fulfilled. If the  agency,  corporation  or government rejects the commissioner's proposal, then it shall provide  the commissioner with reasons for rejecting such proposal and a detailed  comparison   between   its   proposed   action  and  the  commissioner's  alternative or alternatives.    g. At least ten days before commencing an action which  has  been  the  subject  of  a  notice  of  intent  filing,  the  agency, corporation or  government shall certify  to  the  commissioner  that  it  has  made  an  explicit  finding  that  the  requirements of this subdivision have been  met, and that consistent  with  social,  economic  and  other  essential  considerations,  to the maximum extent practicable, adverse agricultural  impacts revealed in the notice of intent process will  be  minimized  or  avoided.  Such  certification  shall set forth the reasons in support of  the finding.    h. The commissioner may request  the  attorney  general  to  bring  an  action  to  enjoin  any  such  agency,  corporation  or  government from  violating any of the provisions of this subdivision.    h-1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to  the  contrary,  no  solid  waste  management facility shall be sited on land in agricultural  production which is located within an agricultural district, or land  in  agricultural   production   that  qualifies  for  and  is  receiving  an  agricultural assessment pursuant to section three hundred  six  of  this  article.  Nothing contained herein, however, shall be deemed to prohibit  siting when:    (i) The owner of such land has entered into a written agreement  which  shall indicate his consent for site consideration; or    (ii)  The  applicant  for a permit has made a commitment in the permit  application to fund a farm land protection conservation easement  within  a  reasonable  proximity  to  the proposed project in an amount not less  than the dollar value of any such farm land purchased for  the  project;  or    (iii)  The  commissioner  in  concurrence  with  the  commissioner  of  environmental conservation has determined  that  any  such  agricultural  land  to  be  taken,  constitutes  less than five percent of the project  site.    For purposes of this  paragraph,  "solid  waste  management  facility"  shall  have  the  same  meaning  as  provided  in title seven of article  twenty-seven of  the  environmental  conservation  law,  but  shall  not  include  solid  waste transfer stations or land upon which sewage sludge  is  applied,  and   determinations   regarding   agricultural   districtboundaries and agricultural assessments will be based on those in effect  as  of  the  date  an initial determination is made, pursuant to article  eight  of  the  environmental  conservation  law,  as  to   whether   an  environmental  impact  statement  needs  to be prepared for the proposed  project.    i. This subdivision shall not apply to any emergency project which  is  immediately  necessary  for the protection of life or property or to any  project or proceeding to which the department is or has been a statutory  party.    j. The commissioner may bring an  action  to  enforce  any  mitigation  measures proposed by a public benefit corporation or a local government,  and accepted by the commissioner, pursuant to a notice of intent filing,  to  minimize  or  avoid  adverse  agricultural impacts from the proposed  action.    5. Limitation on power  to  impose  benefit  assessments,  special  ad  valorem  levies  or other rates or fees in certain improvement districts  or benefit areas. Within improvement districts or areas deemed benefited  by municipal improvements including, but not  limited  to,  improvements  for  sewer,  water,  lighting,  non-farm drainage, solid waste disposal,  including those solid waste management facilities  established  pursuant  to section two hundred twenty-six-b of the county law, or other landfill  operations,  no  benefit assessments, special ad valorem levies or other  rates or fees charged for such improvements may be imposed on land  used  primarily for agricultural production within an agricultural district on  any  basis,  except  a  lot  not exceeding one-half acre surrounding any  dwelling or non-farm structure located on said land,  nor  on  any  farm  structure  located  in  an  agricultural  district unless such structure  benefits directly from the  service  of  such  improvement  district  or  benefited  area; provided, however, that if such benefit assessments, ad  valorem levies or  other  rates  or  fees  were  imposed  prior  to  the  formation  of  the agricultural district, then such benefit assessments,  ad valorem levies or other rates or fees shall continue to be imposed on  such land or farm structure.    6. Use of assessment for certain purposes. The  governing  body  of  a  fire,  fire  protection,  or  ambulance  district  for  which  a benefit  assessment or a special ad valorem levy is made, may adopt a  resolution  to provide that the assessment determined pursuant to subdivision one of  this  section for such property shall be used for the benefit assessment  or special ad valorem levy of such fire, fire protection,  or  ambulance  district.    7.  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, that portion  of the value of land which is used solely for the purpose of  replanting  or crop expansion as part of an orchard or vineyard shall be exempt from  real  property  taxation  for a period of six successive years following  the date of such replanting or crop expansion  beginning  on  the  first  eligible  taxable  status  date  following  such replanting or expansion  provided the following conditions are met:    a. the land used for crop expansion or replanting must be a part of an  existing  orchard  or  vineyard  which  is  located  on  land  used   in  agricultural  production  within  an  agricultural district or such land  must be part of an existing orchard or vineyard which is eligible for an  agricultural assessment  pursuant  to  this  section  or  section  three  hundred  six  of  this chapter where the owner of such land has filed an  annual application for an agricultural assessment;    b. the land eligible for such real property tax exemption shall not in  any one year exceed twenty percent of the total acreage of such  orchard  or  vineyard  which  is  located on land used in agricultural production  within an agricultural district or twenty percent of the  total  acreageof  such  orchard  or  vineyard  eligible for an agricultural assessment  pursuant to this section and section three hundred six of  this  chapter  where  the  owner  of  such  land has filed an annual application for an  agricultural assessment;    c.  the  land  eligible  for  such real property tax exemption must be  maintained as land used in  agricultural  production  as  part  of  such  orchard or vineyard for each year such exemption is granted; and    d.  when the land used for the purpose of replanting or crop expansion  as part of an orchard or vineyard is located within an  area  which  has  been  declared  by  the governor to be a disaster emergency in a year in  which such tax exemption is sought and in a  year  in  which  such  land  meets  all  other  eligibility  requirements  for such tax exemption set  forth in this subdivision, the  maximum  twenty  percent  total  acreage  restriction set forth in paragraph b of this subdivision may be exceeded  for such year and for any remaining successive years, provided, however,  that  the  land  eligible for such real property tax exemption shall not  exceed the total acreage damaged or destroyed by such disaster  in  such  year  or  the  total  acreage  which remains damaged or destroyed in any  remaining successive year. The total acreage for which such exemption is  sought pursuant to this paragraph shall be subject  to  verification  by  the commissioner or his designee.    In  administering  this  subdivision, the portion of the value of land  eligible for such real property tax exemption shall be determined  based  on  the  average  per  acre  assessment  of all agricultural land of the  specific tax parcel as reported in a form approved by the state board of  real property services.

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > New-york > Agm > Article-25-aa > 305

§ 305. Agricultural  districts;  effects. 1. Agricultural assessments.  a.   Any owner  of  land  used  in  agricultural  production  within  an  agricultural  district  shall be eligible for an agricultural assessment  pursuant to this section. If an applicant rents land  from  another  for  use in conjunction with the applicant's land for the production for sale  of crops, livestock or livestock products, the gross sales value of such  products  produced on such rented land shall be added to the gross sales  value of such products  produced  on  the  land  of  the  applicant  for  purposes  of  determining  eligibility for an agricultural assessment on  the land of the applicant. Such assessment shall be granted only upon an  annual application by the owner of such land on a form prescribed by the  state board of real property services. The applicant  shall  furnish  to  the  assessor  such  information  as  the  state  board of real property  services shall require, including  classification  information  prepared  for the applicant's land or water bodies used in agricultural production  by  the  soil  and water conservation district office within the county,  and  information  demonstrating   the   eligibility   for   agricultural  assessment of any land used in conjunction with rented land as specified  in  paragraph b of subdivision four of section three hundred one of this  article. Such application shall  be  filed  with  the  assessor  of  the  assessing  unit  on  or  before  the  appropriate  taxable  status date;  provided, however, that (i) in the year of a revaluation  or  update  of  assessments,  as  those  terms are defined in section one hundred two of  the real property tax  law,  the  application  may  be  filed  with  the  assessor  no  later than the thirtieth day prior to the day by which the  tentative assessment roll is required to be filed by  law;  or  (ii)  an  application for such an assessment may be filed with the assessor of the  assessing  unit  after the appropriate taxable status date but not later  than the last date on which a petition with  respect  to  complaints  of  assessment  may  be  filed,  where  failure to file a timely application  resulted from: (a) a death of the  applicant's  spouse,  child,  parent,  brother or sister, (b) an illness of the applicant or of the applicant's  spouse,  child,  parent,  brother or sister, which actually prevents the  applicant from filing on a timely basis,  as  certified  by  a  licensed  physician,  or  (c) the occurrence of a natural disaster, including, but  not limited  to,  a  flood,  or  the  destruction  of  such  applicant's  residence,  barn  or  other farm building by wind, fire or flood. If the  assessor is satisfied that the applicant is entitled to an  agricultural  assessment,  the  assessor  shall  approve  the application and the land  shall be assessed pursuant to this section. Not less than ten days prior  to the date for hearing  complaints  in  relation  to  assessments,  the  assessor  shall  mail  to  each  applicant,  who  has  included with the  application at least one self-addressed, pre-paid envelope, a notice  of  the  approval  or  denial  of the application. Such notice shall be on a  form prescribed by the state board of real property services which shall  indicate the manner in which the total  assessed  value  is  apportioned  among  the  various  portions  of  the  property subject to agricultural  assessment and those other portions of the  property  not  eligible  for  agricultural  assessment as determined for the tentative assessment roll  and the latest final assessment roll. Failure to mail any such notice or  failure of the owner to receive the same shall  not  prevent  the  levy,  collection  and  enforcement  of  the  payment of the taxes on such real  property.    b. That portion  of  the  value  of  land  utilized  for  agricultural  production  within  an  agricultural district which represents an excess  above the agricultural assessment as determined in accordance with  this  subdivision  shall not be subject to real property taxation. Such excessamount if any shall be entered on the  assessment  roll  in  the  manner  prescribed by the state board of real property services.    c.  (i)  The assessor shall utilize the agricultural assessment values  per acre certified pursuant to section  three  hundred  four-a  of  this  article  in  determining  the amount of the assessment of lands eligible  for agricultural assessments by multiplying those values by  the  number  of acres of land utilized for agricultural production and adjusting such  result by application of the latest state equalization rate or a special  equalization rate as may be established and certified by the state board  of  real property services for the purpose of computing the agricultural  assessment pursuant to this paragraph. This resulting  amount  shall  be  the agricultural assessment for such lands.    (ii)  Where the latest state equalization rate exceeds one hundred, or  where a special equalization rate which would otherwise  be  established  for  the  purposes  of  this section would exceed one hundred, a special  equalization rate of one hundred shall be established and  certified  by  the state board for the purpose of this section.    (iii)  Where  a  special  equalization  rate  has been established and  certified by the state board for the purposes  of  this  paragraph,  the  assessor  is  directed  and  authorized  to  recompute  the agricultural  assessment on the assessment roll by applying such special  equalization  rate  instead  of  the  latest  state equalization rate, and to make the  appropriate  corrections  on  the  assessment  roll,  subject   to   the  provisions of title two of article twelve of the real property tax law.    d.  (i)  If  land  within  an  agricultural district which received an  agricultural assessment  is  converted  parcels,  as  described  on  the  assessment  roll  which  include  land  so converted shall be subject to  payments equalling five times the taxes saved in the last year in  which  the land benefited from an agricultural assessment, plus interest of six  percent  per  year  compounded  annually  for  each  year  in  which  an  agricultural assessment was  granted,  not  exceeding  five  years.  The  amount of taxes saved for the last year in which the land benefited from  an   agricultural   assessment  shall  be  determined  by  applying  the  applicable tax rates to the excess amount of assessed valuation of  such  land  over  its  agricultural  assessment  as  set  forth  on  the  last  assessment roll which indicates such an excess. If only a portion  of  a  parcel  as  described  on the assessment roll is converted, the assessor  shall apportion the assessment and agricultural assessment  attributable  to the converted portion, as determined for the last assessment roll for  which   the   assessment  of  such  portion  exceeded  its  agricultural  assessment. The difference between the apportioned  assessment  and  the  apportioned  agricultural  assessment  shall  be  the  amount upon which  payments shall be determined. Payments shall be added by or on behalf of  each taxing jurisdiction to the taxes  levied  on  the  assessment  roll  prepared  on  the  basis  of  the first taxable status date on which the  assessor considers the land to have been converted;  provided,  however,  that no payments shall be imposed if the last assessment roll upon which  the  property  benefited  from an agricultural assessment, was more than  five years prior to the year for which the assessment  roll  upon  which  payments would otherwise be levied is prepared.    (ii) Whenever a conversion occurs, the owner shall notify the assessor  within  ninety  days  of  the  date such conversion is commenced. If the  landowner fails to make such notification within the ninety day  period,  the assessing unit, by majority vote of the governing body, may impose a  penalty  on  behalf  of  the assessing unit of up to two times the total  payments owed, but not to exceed a maximum total penalty of five hundred  dollars in addition to any payments owed.(iii) (a) An assessor who  determines  that  there  is  liability  for  payments  and  any  penalties  assessed pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of  this paragraph shall notify the landowner by mail of such  liability  at  least  ten  days prior to the date for hearing complaints in relation to  assessments.  Such  notice shall indicate the property to which payments  apply and describe how the payments  shall  be  determined.  Failure  to  provide such notice shall not affect the levy, collection or enforcement  or payment of payments.    (b)  Liability  for  payments  shall  be subject to administrative and  judicial review as provided by law for review of assessments.    (iv) If such land or any portion thereof is converted to a  use  other  than  for  agricultural  production  by  virtue  of  oil,  gas  or  wind  exploration, development, or extraction  activity  or  by  virtue  of  a  taking  by  eminent  domain or other involuntary proceeding other than a  tax sale, the land or portion so  converted  shall  not  be  subject  to  payments.  If  the  land  so  converted  constitutes only a portion of a  parcel described on the assessment roll, the  assessor  shall  apportion  the  assessment,  and adjust the agricultural assessment attributable to  the portion of the parcel not subject to such conversion by  subtracting  the  proportionate  part  of the agricultural assessment attributable to  the  portion  so  converted.  Provided  further  that  land  within   an  agricultural  district and eligible for an agricultural assessment shall  not be considered to have  been  converted  to  a  use  other  than  for  agricultural production solely due to the conveyance of oil, gas or wind  rights associated with that land.    (v)  An  assessor  who  imposes  any such payments shall annually, and  within forty-five days following the date on which the final  assessment  roll is required to be filed, report such payments to the state board of  real property services on a form prescribed by the state board.    (vi)  The  assessing unit, by majority vote of the governing body, may  impose a minimum payment amount, not to exceed one hundred dollars.    (vii) The purchase of land  in  fee  by  the  city  of  New  York  for  watershed  protection  purposes  or  the  conveyance  of  a conservation  easement by the city of New York  to  the  department  of  environmental  conservation  which  prohibits  future  use of the land for agricultural  purposes shall not be a conversion of parcels and no  payment  shall  be  due under this section.    e. In connection with any district created under section three hundred  four  of this article, the state shall provide assistance to each taxing  jurisdiction in an amount equal to one-half of the tax loss that results  from requests for agricultural assessments in the district.  The  amount  of  such  tax loss shall be computed annually by applying the applicable  tax  rate  to  an  amount  computed  by  subtracting  the   agricultural  assessment  from  the  assessed  value of the property on the assessment  roll  completed  and  filed  prior  to  July  first,  nineteen   hundred  seventy-one,  taking  into  consideration  any  change  in  the level of  assessment. The chief fiscal officer of a taxing  jurisdiction  entitled  to  state  assistance under this article shall make application for such  assistance to the state board  of  real  property  services  on  a  form  approved  by  such  board  and  containing such information as the board  shall require. Upon approval of the  application  by  such  board,  such  assistance  shall be apportioned and paid to such taxing jurisdiction on  the  audit  and  warrant  of  the  state  comptroller  out   of   moneys  appropriated  by  the  legislature  for  the  purpose  of  this article;  provided, however, that any such assistance payment shall be reduced  by  one-half  the  amount  of  any payments levied under subparagraph (i) of  paragraph d of this subdivision, for land in any district created  under  section  three  hundred four of this article, unless one-half the amountof such payments has already been used to reduce a  previous  assistance  payment under this paragraph.    f.  Notwithstanding  any inconsistent general, special or local law to  the contrary, if a natural disaster, act of God,  or  continued  adverse  weather  conditions  shall  destroy the agricultural production and such  fact is certified by the cooperative extension service and, as a result,  such production does not produce an average gross  sales  value  of  ten  thousand  dollars  or  more,  the  owner may nevertheless qualify for an  agricultural assessment provided the owner shall  substantiate  in  such  manner  as  prescribed by the state board of real property services that  the agricultural production initiated on such land would  have  produced  an average gross sales value of ten thousand dollars or more but for the  natural disaster, act of God or continued adverse weather conditions.    3.  Policy  of  state  agencies.  It  shall be the policy of all state  agencies to encourage the maintenance of viable farming in  agricultural  districts  and  their administrative regulations and procedures shall be  modified to this end insofar as is  consistent  with  the  promotion  of  public  health  and  safety  and  with  the  provisions  of  any federal  statutes, standards, criteria, rules, regulations, or policies, and  any  other  requirements of federal agencies, including provisions applicable  only to obtaining federal grants, loans, or other funding.    4. Limitation on the exercise  of  eminent  domain  and  other  public  acquisitions,  and  on the advance of public funds. a. Any agency of the  state, any public benefit corporation  or  any  local  government  which  intends  to  acquire  land  or  any  interest therein, provided that the  acquisition from any one actively  operated  farm  within  the  district  would  be in excess of one acre or that the total acquisition within the  district would be in excess of ten acres, or which intends to construct,  or advance a grant, loan, interest  subsidy  or  other  funds  within  a  district  to  construct, dwellings, commercial or industrial facilities,  or water or sewer facilities to serve non-farm structures, shall use all  practicable means in undertaking such action to realize the  policy  and  goals  set  forth in this article, and shall act and choose alternatives  which,  consistent   with   social,   economic   and   other   essential  considerations,  to  the  maximum  extent practicable, minimize or avoid  adverse impacts on  agriculture  in  order  to  sustain  a  viable  farm  enterprise  or enterprises within the district. The adverse agricultural  impacts to be minimized or avoided shall include impacts revealed in the  notice of intent process described in this subdivision.    b. As early as possible in the development of a proposal of an  action  described in paragraph a of this subdivision, but in no event later than  the  date  of  any  determination  as to whether an environmental impact  statement  need  be  prepared  pursuant  to   article   eight   of   the  environmental  conservation  law,  the agency, corporation or government  proposing an action described in paragraph a of this  subdivision  shall  file  a  preliminary  notice of its intent with the commissioner and the  county agricultural and farmland protection board  in  such  manner  and  form  as  the  commissioner  may  require. Such preliminary notice shall  include the following:    (i) a brief description of the proposed action  and  its  agricultural  setting;    (ii)  a  summary of any anticipated adverse impacts on farm operations  and agricultural resources within the district; and    (iii) such other information as the commissioner may require.    c. The agency, corporation or government proposing  the  action  shall  also,  at  least sixty-five days prior to such acquisition, construction  or advance of public funds, file a  final  notice  of  intent  with  the  commissioner  and the county agricultural and farmland protection board.Such final notice shall include a detailed agricultural impact statement  setting forth the following:    (i) a detailed description of the proposed action and its agricultural  setting;    (ii)   the  agricultural  impact  of  the  proposed  action  including  short-term and long-term effects;    (iii) any adverse agricultural effects which cannot be avoided  should  the proposed action be implemented;    (iv) alternatives to the proposed action;    (v)  any  irreversible  and  irretrievable commitments of agricultural  resources which would be involved in the proposed action  should  it  be  implemented;    (vi)  mitigation  measures  proposed to minimize the adverse impact of  the proposed action on the continuing viability of a farm enterprise  or  enterprises within the district;    (vii)  any  aspects  of  the  proposed  action  which  would encourage  non-farm development, where applicable and appropriate; and    (viii) such other information as the commissioner may require.    The commissioner shall promptly determine whether the final notice  is  complete  or  incomplete.  If  the  commissioner  does  not  issue  such  determination within thirty days,  the  final  notice  shall  be  deemed  complete.  If  the  final  notice  is  determined  to be incomplete, the  commissioner shall notify the party proposing the action in  writing  of  the  reasons for that determination. Any new submission shall commence a  new  period  for  department  review   for   purposes   of   determining  completeness.    d.  The provisions of paragraphs b and c of this subdivision shall not  apply and shall be deemed waived by the owner of the land to be acquired  where such owner signs a document to such effect and provides a copy  to  the commissioner.    e.  Upon  notice  from  the commissioner that he or she has accepted a  final  notice  as  complete,  the  county  agricultural   and   farmland  protection board may, within thirty days, review the proposed action and  its  effects  on  farm  operations and agricultural resources within the  district,  and  report  its  findings   and   recommendations   to   the  commissioner  and  to  the  party  proposing  the  action in the case of  actions proposed by a state agency or public  benefit  corporation,  and  additionally  to  the county legislature in the case of actions proposed  by local government agencies.    f. Upon receipt and acceptance of a  final  notice,  the  commissioner  shall  thereupon  forward  a  copy of such notice to the commissioner of  environmental conservation and the advisory council on agriculture.  The  commissioner,  in  consultation  with  the commissioner of environmental  conservation and the advisory council on agriculture, within  forty-five  days  of  the  acceptance  of  a final notice, shall review the proposed  action and make an initial determination whether such action would  have  an  unreasonably  adverse  effect  on the continuing viability of a farm  enterprise or enterprises within the district,  or  state  environmental  plans, policies and objectives.    If  the  commissioner  so determines, he or she may (i) issue an order  within the forty-five day period  directing  the  state  agency,  public  benefit  corporation  or local government not to take such action for an  additional period of sixty days immediately  following  such  forty-five  day period; and (ii) review the proposed action to determine whether any  reasonable and practicable alternative or alternatives exist which would  minimize  or avoid the adverse impact on agriculture in order to sustain  a viable farm enterprise or enterprises within the district.The commissioner may hold a public hearing  concerning  such  proposed  action  at a place within the district or otherwise easily accessible to  the district upon notice in a newspaper  having  a  general  circulation  within   the  district,  and  individual  notice,  in  writing,  to  the  municipalities   whose   territories   encompass   the   district,   the  commissioner of environmental  conservation,  the  advisory  council  on  agriculture  and  the  state agency, public benefit corporation or local  government proposing to take such action. On or before the conclusion of  such additional sixty day period, the commissioner shall report  his  or  her  findings to the agency, corporation or government proposing to take  such action, to any public agency having  the  power  of  review  of  or  approval  of  such  action,  and,  in  a  manner  conducive  to the wide  dissemination of such findings,  to  the  public.  If  the  commissioner  concludes  that a reasonable and practicable alternative or alternatives  exist which would minimize or avoid the adverse impact of  the  proposed  action, he or she shall propose that such alternative or alternatives be  accepted.  If the agency, corporation or government proposing the action  accepts the commissioner's proposal, then the requirements of the notice  of intent filing shall be deemed fulfilled. If the  agency,  corporation  or government rejects the commissioner's proposal, then it shall provide  the commissioner with reasons for rejecting such proposal and a detailed  comparison   between   its   proposed   action  and  the  commissioner's  alternative or alternatives.    g. At least ten days before commencing an action which  has  been  the  subject  of  a  notice  of  intent  filing,  the  agency, corporation or  government shall certify  to  the  commissioner  that  it  has  made  an  explicit  finding  that  the  requirements of this subdivision have been  met, and that consistent  with  social,  economic  and  other  essential  considerations,  to the maximum extent practicable, adverse agricultural  impacts revealed in the notice of intent process will  be  minimized  or  avoided.  Such  certification  shall set forth the reasons in support of  the finding.    h. The commissioner may request  the  attorney  general  to  bring  an  action  to  enjoin  any  such  agency,  corporation  or  government from  violating any of the provisions of this subdivision.    h-1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to  the  contrary,  no  solid  waste  management facility shall be sited on land in agricultural  production which is located within an agricultural district, or land  in  agricultural   production   that  qualifies  for  and  is  receiving  an  agricultural assessment pursuant to section three hundred  six  of  this  article.  Nothing contained herein, however, shall be deemed to prohibit  siting when:    (i) The owner of such land has entered into a written agreement  which  shall indicate his consent for site consideration; or    (ii)  The  applicant  for a permit has made a commitment in the permit  application to fund a farm land protection conservation easement  within  a  reasonable  proximity  to  the proposed project in an amount not less  than the dollar value of any such farm land purchased for  the  project;  or    (iii)  The  commissioner  in  concurrence  with  the  commissioner  of  environmental conservation has determined  that  any  such  agricultural  land  to  be  taken,  constitutes  less than five percent of the project  site.    For purposes of this  paragraph,  "solid  waste  management  facility"  shall  have  the  same  meaning  as  provided  in title seven of article  twenty-seven of  the  environmental  conservation  law,  but  shall  not  include  solid  waste transfer stations or land upon which sewage sludge  is  applied,  and   determinations   regarding   agricultural   districtboundaries and agricultural assessments will be based on those in effect  as  of  the  date  an initial determination is made, pursuant to article  eight  of  the  environmental  conservation  law,  as  to   whether   an  environmental  impact  statement  needs  to be prepared for the proposed  project.    i. This subdivision shall not apply to any emergency project which  is  immediately  necessary  for the protection of life or property or to any  project or proceeding to which the department is or has been a statutory  party.    j. The commissioner may bring an  action  to  enforce  any  mitigation  measures proposed by a public benefit corporation or a local government,  and accepted by the commissioner, pursuant to a notice of intent filing,  to  minimize  or  avoid  adverse  agricultural impacts from the proposed  action.    5. Limitation on power  to  impose  benefit  assessments,  special  ad  valorem  levies  or other rates or fees in certain improvement districts  or benefit areas. Within improvement districts or areas deemed benefited  by municipal improvements including, but not  limited  to,  improvements  for  sewer,  water,  lighting,  non-farm drainage, solid waste disposal,  including those solid waste management facilities  established  pursuant  to section two hundred twenty-six-b of the county law, or other landfill  operations,  no  benefit assessments, special ad valorem levies or other  rates or fees charged for such improvements may be imposed on land  used  primarily for agricultural production within an agricultural district on  any  basis,  except  a  lot  not exceeding one-half acre surrounding any  dwelling or non-farm structure located on said land,  nor  on  any  farm  structure  located  in  an  agricultural  district unless such structure  benefits directly from the  service  of  such  improvement  district  or  benefited  area; provided, however, that if such benefit assessments, ad  valorem levies or  other  rates  or  fees  were  imposed  prior  to  the  formation  of  the agricultural district, then such benefit assessments,  ad valorem levies or other rates or fees shall continue to be imposed on  such land or farm structure.    6. Use of assessment for certain purposes. The  governing  body  of  a  fire,  fire  protection,  or  ambulance  district  for  which  a benefit  assessment or a special ad valorem levy is made, may adopt a  resolution  to provide that the assessment determined pursuant to subdivision one of  this  section for such property shall be used for the benefit assessment  or special ad valorem levy of such fire, fire protection,  or  ambulance  district.    7.  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, that portion  of the value of land which is used solely for the purpose of  replanting  or crop expansion as part of an orchard or vineyard shall be exempt from  real  property  taxation  for a period of six successive years following  the date of such replanting or crop expansion  beginning  on  the  first  eligible  taxable  status  date  following  such replanting or expansion  provided the following conditions are met:    a. the land used for crop expansion or replanting must be a part of an  existing  orchard  or  vineyard  which  is  located  on  land  used   in  agricultural  production  within  an  agricultural district or such land  must be part of an existing orchard or vineyard which is eligible for an  agricultural assessment  pursuant  to  this  section  or  section  three  hundred  six  of  this chapter where the owner of such land has filed an  annual application for an agricultural assessment;    b. the land eligible for such real property tax exemption shall not in  any one year exceed twenty percent of the total acreage of such  orchard  or  vineyard  which  is  located on land used in agricultural production  within an agricultural district or twenty percent of the  total  acreageof  such  orchard  or  vineyard  eligible for an agricultural assessment  pursuant to this section and section three hundred six of  this  chapter  where  the  owner  of  such  land has filed an annual application for an  agricultural assessment;    c.  the  land  eligible  for  such real property tax exemption must be  maintained as land used in  agricultural  production  as  part  of  such  orchard or vineyard for each year such exemption is granted; and    d.  when the land used for the purpose of replanting or crop expansion  as part of an orchard or vineyard is located within an  area  which  has  been  declared  by  the governor to be a disaster emergency in a year in  which such tax exemption is sought and in a  year  in  which  such  land  meets  all  other  eligibility  requirements  for such tax exemption set  forth in this subdivision, the  maximum  twenty  percent  total  acreage  restriction set forth in paragraph b of this subdivision may be exceeded  for such year and for any remaining successive years, provided, however,  that  the  land  eligible for such real property tax exemption shall not  exceed the total acreage damaged or destroyed by such disaster  in  such  year  or  the  total  acreage  which remains damaged or destroyed in any  remaining successive year. The total acreage for which such exemption is  sought pursuant to this paragraph shall be subject  to  verification  by  the commissioner or his designee.    In  administering  this  subdivision, the portion of the value of land  eligible for such real property tax exemption shall be determined  based  on  the  average  per  acre  assessment  of all agricultural land of the  specific tax parcel as reported in a form approved by the state board of  real property services.

State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > New-york > Agm > Article-25-aa > 305

§ 305. Agricultural  districts;  effects. 1. Agricultural assessments.  a.   Any owner  of  land  used  in  agricultural  production  within  an  agricultural  district  shall be eligible for an agricultural assessment  pursuant to this section. If an applicant rents land  from  another  for  use in conjunction with the applicant's land for the production for sale  of crops, livestock or livestock products, the gross sales value of such  products  produced on such rented land shall be added to the gross sales  value of such products  produced  on  the  land  of  the  applicant  for  purposes  of  determining  eligibility for an agricultural assessment on  the land of the applicant. Such assessment shall be granted only upon an  annual application by the owner of such land on a form prescribed by the  state board of real property services. The applicant  shall  furnish  to  the  assessor  such  information  as  the  state  board of real property  services shall require, including  classification  information  prepared  for the applicant's land or water bodies used in agricultural production  by  the  soil  and water conservation district office within the county,  and  information  demonstrating   the   eligibility   for   agricultural  assessment of any land used in conjunction with rented land as specified  in  paragraph b of subdivision four of section three hundred one of this  article. Such application shall  be  filed  with  the  assessor  of  the  assessing  unit  on  or  before  the  appropriate  taxable  status date;  provided, however, that (i) in the year of a revaluation  or  update  of  assessments,  as  those  terms are defined in section one hundred two of  the real property tax  law,  the  application  may  be  filed  with  the  assessor  no  later than the thirtieth day prior to the day by which the  tentative assessment roll is required to be filed by  law;  or  (ii)  an  application for such an assessment may be filed with the assessor of the  assessing  unit  after the appropriate taxable status date but not later  than the last date on which a petition with  respect  to  complaints  of  assessment  may  be  filed,  where  failure to file a timely application  resulted from: (a) a death of the  applicant's  spouse,  child,  parent,  brother or sister, (b) an illness of the applicant or of the applicant's  spouse,  child,  parent,  brother or sister, which actually prevents the  applicant from filing on a timely basis,  as  certified  by  a  licensed  physician,  or  (c) the occurrence of a natural disaster, including, but  not limited  to,  a  flood,  or  the  destruction  of  such  applicant's  residence,  barn  or  other farm building by wind, fire or flood. If the  assessor is satisfied that the applicant is entitled to an  agricultural  assessment,  the  assessor  shall  approve  the application and the land  shall be assessed pursuant to this section. Not less than ten days prior  to the date for hearing  complaints  in  relation  to  assessments,  the  assessor  shall  mail  to  each  applicant,  who  has  included with the  application at least one self-addressed, pre-paid envelope, a notice  of  the  approval  or  denial  of the application. Such notice shall be on a  form prescribed by the state board of real property services which shall  indicate the manner in which the total  assessed  value  is  apportioned  among  the  various  portions  of  the  property subject to agricultural  assessment and those other portions of the  property  not  eligible  for  agricultural  assessment as determined for the tentative assessment roll  and the latest final assessment roll. Failure to mail any such notice or  failure of the owner to receive the same shall  not  prevent  the  levy,  collection  and  enforcement  of  the  payment of the taxes on such real  property.    b. That portion  of  the  value  of  land  utilized  for  agricultural  production  within  an  agricultural district which represents an excess  above the agricultural assessment as determined in accordance with  this  subdivision  shall not be subject to real property taxation. Such excessamount if any shall be entered on the  assessment  roll  in  the  manner  prescribed by the state board of real property services.    c.  (i)  The assessor shall utilize the agricultural assessment values  per acre certified pursuant to section  three  hundred  four-a  of  this  article  in  determining  the amount of the assessment of lands eligible  for agricultural assessments by multiplying those values by  the  number  of acres of land utilized for agricultural production and adjusting such  result by application of the latest state equalization rate or a special  equalization rate as may be established and certified by the state board  of  real property services for the purpose of computing the agricultural  assessment pursuant to this paragraph. This resulting  amount  shall  be  the agricultural assessment for such lands.    (ii)  Where the latest state equalization rate exceeds one hundred, or  where a special equalization rate which would otherwise  be  established  for  the  purposes  of  this section would exceed one hundred, a special  equalization rate of one hundred shall be established and  certified  by  the state board for the purpose of this section.    (iii)  Where  a  special  equalization  rate  has been established and  certified by the state board for the purposes  of  this  paragraph,  the  assessor  is  directed  and  authorized  to  recompute  the agricultural  assessment on the assessment roll by applying such special  equalization  rate  instead  of  the  latest  state equalization rate, and to make the  appropriate  corrections  on  the  assessment  roll,  subject   to   the  provisions of title two of article twelve of the real property tax law.    d.  (i)  If  land  within  an  agricultural district which received an  agricultural assessment  is  converted  parcels,  as  described  on  the  assessment  roll  which  include  land  so converted shall be subject to  payments equalling five times the taxes saved in the last year in  which  the land benefited from an agricultural assessment, plus interest of six  percent  per  year  compounded  annually  for  each  year  in  which  an  agricultural assessment was  granted,  not  exceeding  five  years.  The  amount of taxes saved for the last year in which the land benefited from  an   agricultural   assessment  shall  be  determined  by  applying  the  applicable tax rates to the excess amount of assessed valuation of  such  land  over  its  agricultural  assessment  as  set  forth  on  the  last  assessment roll which indicates such an excess. If only a portion  of  a  parcel  as  described  on the assessment roll is converted, the assessor  shall apportion the assessment and agricultural assessment  attributable  to the converted portion, as determined for the last assessment roll for  which   the   assessment  of  such  portion  exceeded  its  agricultural  assessment. The difference between the apportioned  assessment  and  the  apportioned  agricultural  assessment  shall  be  the  amount upon which  payments shall be determined. Payments shall be added by or on behalf of  each taxing jurisdiction to the taxes  levied  on  the  assessment  roll  prepared  on  the  basis  of  the first taxable status date on which the  assessor considers the land to have been converted;  provided,  however,  that no payments shall be imposed if the last assessment roll upon which  the  property  benefited  from an agricultural assessment, was more than  five years prior to the year for which the assessment  roll  upon  which  payments would otherwise be levied is prepared.    (ii) Whenever a conversion occurs, the owner shall notify the assessor  within  ninety  days  of  the  date such conversion is commenced. If the  landowner fails to make such notification within the ninety day  period,  the assessing unit, by majority vote of the governing body, may impose a  penalty  on  behalf  of  the assessing unit of up to two times the total  payments owed, but not to exceed a maximum total penalty of five hundred  dollars in addition to any payments owed.(iii) (a) An assessor who  determines  that  there  is  liability  for  payments  and  any  penalties  assessed pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of  this paragraph shall notify the landowner by mail of such  liability  at  least  ten  days prior to the date for hearing complaints in relation to  assessments.  Such  notice shall indicate the property to which payments  apply and describe how the payments  shall  be  determined.  Failure  to  provide such notice shall not affect the levy, collection or enforcement  or payment of payments.    (b)  Liability  for  payments  shall  be subject to administrative and  judicial review as provided by law for review of assessments.    (iv) If such land or any portion thereof is converted to a  use  other  than  for  agricultural  production  by  virtue  of  oil,  gas  or  wind  exploration, development, or extraction  activity  or  by  virtue  of  a  taking  by  eminent  domain or other involuntary proceeding other than a  tax sale, the land or portion so  converted  shall  not  be  subject  to  payments.  If  the  land  so  converted  constitutes only a portion of a  parcel described on the assessment roll, the  assessor  shall  apportion  the  assessment,  and adjust the agricultural assessment attributable to  the portion of the parcel not subject to such conversion by  subtracting  the  proportionate  part  of the agricultural assessment attributable to  the  portion  so  converted.  Provided  further  that  land  within   an  agricultural  district and eligible for an agricultural assessment shall  not be considered to have  been  converted  to  a  use  other  than  for  agricultural production solely due to the conveyance of oil, gas or wind  rights associated with that land.    (v)  An  assessor  who  imposes  any such payments shall annually, and  within forty-five days following the date on which the final  assessment  roll is required to be filed, report such payments to the state board of  real property services on a form prescribed by the state board.    (vi)  The  assessing unit, by majority vote of the governing body, may  impose a minimum payment amount, not to exceed one hundred dollars.    (vii) The purchase of land  in  fee  by  the  city  of  New  York  for  watershed  protection  purposes  or  the  conveyance  of  a conservation  easement by the city of New York  to  the  department  of  environmental  conservation  which  prohibits  future  use of the land for agricultural  purposes shall not be a conversion of parcels and no  payment  shall  be  due under this section.    e. In connection with any district created under section three hundred  four  of this article, the state shall provide assistance to each taxing  jurisdiction in an amount equal to one-half of the tax loss that results  from requests for agricultural assessments in the district.  The  amount  of  such  tax loss shall be computed annually by applying the applicable  tax  rate  to  an  amount  computed  by  subtracting  the   agricultural  assessment  from  the  assessed  value of the property on the assessment  roll  completed  and  filed  prior  to  July  first,  nineteen   hundred  seventy-one,  taking  into  consideration  any  change  in  the level of  assessment. The chief fiscal officer of a taxing  jurisdiction  entitled  to  state  assistance under this article shall make application for such  assistance to the state board  of  real  property  services  on  a  form  approved  by  such  board  and  containing such information as the board  shall require. Upon approval of the  application  by  such  board,  such  assistance  shall be apportioned and paid to such taxing jurisdiction on  the  audit  and  warrant  of  the  state  comptroller  out   of   moneys  appropriated  by  the  legislature  for  the  purpose  of  this article;  provided, however, that any such assistance payment shall be reduced  by  one-half  the  amount  of  any payments levied under subparagraph (i) of  paragraph d of this subdivision, for land in any district created  under  section  three  hundred four of this article, unless one-half the amountof such payments has already been used to reduce a  previous  assistance  payment under this paragraph.    f.  Notwithstanding  any inconsistent general, special or local law to  the contrary, if a natural disaster, act of God,  or  continued  adverse  weather  conditions  shall  destroy the agricultural production and such  fact is certified by the cooperative extension service and, as a result,  such production does not produce an average gross  sales  value  of  ten  thousand  dollars  or  more,  the  owner may nevertheless qualify for an  agricultural assessment provided the owner shall  substantiate  in  such  manner  as  prescribed by the state board of real property services that  the agricultural production initiated on such land would  have  produced  an average gross sales value of ten thousand dollars or more but for the  natural disaster, act of God or continued adverse weather conditions.    3.  Policy  of  state  agencies.  It  shall be the policy of all state  agencies to encourage the maintenance of viable farming in  agricultural  districts  and  their administrative regulations and procedures shall be  modified to this end insofar as is  consistent  with  the  promotion  of  public  health  and  safety  and  with  the  provisions  of  any federal  statutes, standards, criteria, rules, regulations, or policies, and  any  other  requirements of federal agencies, including provisions applicable  only to obtaining federal grants, loans, or other funding.    4. Limitation on the exercise  of  eminent  domain  and  other  public  acquisitions,  and  on the advance of public funds. a. Any agency of the  state, any public benefit corporation  or  any  local  government  which  intends  to  acquire  land  or  any  interest therein, provided that the  acquisition from any one actively  operated  farm  within  the  district  would  be in excess of one acre or that the total acquisition within the  district would be in excess of ten acres, or which intends to construct,  or advance a grant, loan, interest  subsidy  or  other  funds  within  a  district  to  construct, dwellings, commercial or industrial facilities,  or water or sewer facilities to serve non-farm structures, shall use all  practicable means in undertaking such action to realize the  policy  and  goals  set  forth in this article, and shall act and choose alternatives  which,  consistent   with   social,   economic   and   other   essential  considerations,  to  the  maximum  extent practicable, minimize or avoid  adverse impacts on  agriculture  in  order  to  sustain  a  viable  farm  enterprise  or enterprises within the district. The adverse agricultural  impacts to be minimized or avoided shall include impacts revealed in the  notice of intent process described in this subdivision.    b. As early as possible in the development of a proposal of an  action  described in paragraph a of this subdivision, but in no event later than  the  date  of  any  determination  as to whether an environmental impact  statement  need  be  prepared  pursuant  to   article   eight   of   the  environmental  conservation  law,  the agency, corporation or government  proposing an action described in paragraph a of this  subdivision  shall  file  a  preliminary  notice of its intent with the commissioner and the  county agricultural and farmland protection board  in  such  manner  and  form  as  the  commissioner  may  require. Such preliminary notice shall  include the following:    (i) a brief description of the proposed action  and  its  agricultural  setting;    (ii)  a  summary of any anticipated adverse impacts on farm operations  and agricultural resources within the district; and    (iii) such other information as the commissioner may require.    c. The agency, corporation or government proposing  the  action  shall  also,  at  least sixty-five days prior to such acquisition, construction  or advance of public funds, file a  final  notice  of  intent  with  the  commissioner  and the county agricultural and farmland protection board.Such final notice shall include a detailed agricultural impact statement  setting forth the following:    (i) a detailed description of the proposed action and its agricultural  setting;    (ii)   the  agricultural  impact  of  the  proposed  action  including  short-term and long-term effects;    (iii) any adverse agricultural effects which cannot be avoided  should  the proposed action be implemented;    (iv) alternatives to the proposed action;    (v)  any  irreversible  and  irretrievable commitments of agricultural  resources which would be involved in the proposed action  should  it  be  implemented;    (vi)  mitigation  measures  proposed to minimize the adverse impact of  the proposed action on the continuing viability of a farm enterprise  or  enterprises within the district;    (vii)  any  aspects  of  the  proposed  action  which  would encourage  non-farm development, where applicable and appropriate; and    (viii) such other information as the commissioner may require.    The commissioner shall promptly determine whether the final notice  is  complete  or  incomplete.  If  the  commissioner  does  not  issue  such  determination within thirty days,  the  final  notice  shall  be  deemed  complete.  If  the  final  notice  is  determined  to be incomplete, the  commissioner shall notify the party proposing the action in  writing  of  the  reasons for that determination. Any new submission shall commence a  new  period  for  department  review   for   purposes   of   determining  completeness.    d.  The provisions of paragraphs b and c of this subdivision shall not  apply and shall be deemed waived by the owner of the land to be acquired  where such owner signs a document to such effect and provides a copy  to  the commissioner.    e.  Upon  notice  from  the commissioner that he or she has accepted a  final  notice  as  complete,  the  county  agricultural   and   farmland  protection board may, within thirty days, review the proposed action and  its  effects  on  farm  operations and agricultural resources within the  district,  and  report  its  findings   and   recommendations   to   the  commissioner  and  to  the  party  proposing  the  action in the case of  actions proposed by a state agency or public  benefit  corporation,  and  additionally  to  the county legislature in the case of actions proposed  by local government agencies.    f. Upon receipt and acceptance of a  final  notice,  the  commissioner  shall  thereupon  forward  a  copy of such notice to the commissioner of  environmental conservation and the advisory council on agriculture.  The  commissioner,  in  consultation  with  the commissioner of environmental  conservation and the advisory council on agriculture, within  forty-five  days  of  the  acceptance  of  a final notice, shall review the proposed  action and make an initial determination whether such action would  have  an  unreasonably  adverse  effect  on the continuing viability of a farm  enterprise or enterprises within the district,  or  state  environmental  plans, policies and objectives.    If  the  commissioner  so determines, he or she may (i) issue an order  within the forty-five day period  directing  the  state  agency,  public  benefit  corporation  or local government not to take such action for an  additional period of sixty days immediately  following  such  forty-five  day period; and (ii) review the proposed action to determine whether any  reasonable and practicable alternative or alternatives exist which would  minimize  or avoid the adverse impact on agriculture in order to sustain  a viable farm enterprise or enterprises within the district.The commissioner may hold a public hearing  concerning  such  proposed  action  at a place within the district or otherwise easily accessible to  the district upon notice in a newspaper  having  a  general  circulation  within   the  district,  and  individual  notice,  in  writing,  to  the  municipalities   whose   territories   encompass   the   district,   the  commissioner of environmental  conservation,  the  advisory  council  on  agriculture  and  the  state agency, public benefit corporation or local  government proposing to take such action. On or before the conclusion of  such additional sixty day period, the commissioner shall report  his  or  her  findings to the agency, corporation or government proposing to take  such action, to any public agency having  the  power  of  review  of  or  approval  of  such  action,  and,  in  a  manner  conducive  to the wide  dissemination of such findings,  to  the  public.  If  the  commissioner  concludes  that a reasonable and practicable alternative or alternatives  exist which would minimize or avoid the adverse impact of  the  proposed  action, he or she shall propose that such alternative or alternatives be  accepted.  If the agency, corporation or government proposing the action  accepts the commissioner's proposal, then the requirements of the notice  of intent filing shall be deemed fulfilled. If the  agency,  corporation  or government rejects the commissioner's proposal, then it shall provide  the commissioner with reasons for rejecting such proposal and a detailed  comparison   between   its   proposed   action  and  the  commissioner's  alternative or alternatives.    g. At least ten days before commencing an action which  has  been  the  subject  of  a  notice  of  intent  filing,  the  agency, corporation or  government shall certify  to  the  commissioner  that  it  has  made  an  explicit  finding  that  the  requirements of this subdivision have been  met, and that consistent  with  social,  economic  and  other  essential  considerations,  to the maximum extent practicable, adverse agricultural  impacts revealed in the notice of intent process will  be  minimized  or  avoided.  Such  certification  shall set forth the reasons in support of  the finding.    h. The commissioner may request  the  attorney  general  to  bring  an  action  to  enjoin  any  such  agency,  corporation  or  government from  violating any of the provisions of this subdivision.    h-1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to  the  contrary,  no  solid  waste  management facility shall be sited on land in agricultural  production which is located within an agricultural district, or land  in  agricultural   production   that  qualifies  for  and  is  receiving  an  agricultural assessment pursuant to section three hundred  six  of  this  article.  Nothing contained herein, however, shall be deemed to prohibit  siting when:    (i) The owner of such land has entered into a written agreement  which  shall indicate his consent for site consideration; or    (ii)  The  applicant  for a permit has made a commitment in the permit  application to fund a farm land protection conservation easement  within  a  reasonable  proximity  to  the proposed project in an amount not less  than the dollar value of any such farm land purchased for  the  project;  or    (iii)  The  commissioner  in  concurrence  with  the  commissioner  of  environmental conservation has determined  that  any  such  agricultural  land  to  be  taken,  constitutes  less than five percent of the project  site.    For purposes of this  paragraph,  "solid  waste  management  facility"  shall  have  the  same  meaning  as  provided  in title seven of article  twenty-seven of  the  environmental  conservation  law,  but  shall  not  include  solid  waste transfer stations or land upon which sewage sludge  is  applied,  and   determinations   regarding   agricultural   districtboundaries and agricultural assessments will be based on those in effect  as  of  the  date  an initial determination is made, pursuant to article  eight  of  the  environmental  conservation  law,  as  to   whether   an  environmental  impact  statement  needs  to be prepared for the proposed  project.    i. This subdivision shall not apply to any emergency project which  is  immediately  necessary  for the protection of life or property or to any  project or proceeding to which the department is or has been a statutory  party.    j. The commissioner may bring an  action  to  enforce  any  mitigation  measures proposed by a public benefit corporation or a local government,  and accepted by the commissioner, pursuant to a notice of intent filing,  to  minimize  or  avoid  adverse  agricultural impacts from the proposed  action.    5. Limitation on power  to  impose  benefit  assessments,  special  ad  valorem  levies  or other rates or fees in certain improvement districts  or benefit areas. Within improvement districts or areas deemed benefited  by municipal improvements including, but not  limited  to,  improvements  for  sewer,  water,  lighting,  non-farm drainage, solid waste disposal,  including those solid waste management facilities  established  pursuant  to section two hundred twenty-six-b of the county law, or other landfill  operations,  no  benefit assessments, special ad valorem levies or other  rates or fees charged for such improvements may be imposed on land  used  primarily for agricultural production within an agricultural district on  any  basis,  except  a  lot  not exceeding one-half acre surrounding any  dwelling or non-farm structure located on said land,  nor  on  any  farm  structure  located  in  an  agricultural  district unless such structure  benefits directly from the  service  of  such  improvement  district  or  benefited  area; provided, however, that if such benefit assessments, ad  valorem levies or  other  rates  or  fees  were  imposed  prior  to  the  formation  of  the agricultural district, then such benefit assessments,  ad valorem levies or other rates or fees shall continue to be imposed on  such land or farm structure.    6. Use of assessment for certain purposes. The  governing  body  of  a  fire,  fire  protection,  or  ambulance  district  for  which  a benefit  assessment or a special ad valorem levy is made, may adopt a  resolution  to provide that the assessment determined pursuant to subdivision one of  this  section for such property shall be used for the benefit assessment  or special ad valorem levy of such fire, fire protection,  or  ambulance  district.    7.  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, that portion  of the value of land which is used solely for the purpose of  replanting  or crop expansion as part of an orchard or vineyard shall be exempt from  real  property  taxation  for a period of six successive years following  the date of such replanting or crop expansion  beginning  on  the  first  eligible  taxable  status  date  following  such replanting or expansion  provided the following conditions are met:    a. the land used for crop expansion or replanting must be a part of an  existing  orchard  or  vineyard  which  is  located  on  land  used   in  agricultural  production  within  an  agricultural district or such land  must be part of an existing orchard or vineyard which is eligible for an  agricultural assessment  pursuant  to  this  section  or  section  three  hundred  six  of  this chapter where the owner of such land has filed an  annual application for an agricultural assessment;    b. the land eligible for such real property tax exemption shall not in  any one year exceed twenty percent of the total acreage of such  orchard  or  vineyard  which  is  located on land used in agricultural production  within an agricultural district or twenty percent of the  total  acreageof  such  orchard  or  vineyard  eligible for an agricultural assessment  pursuant to this section and section three hundred six of  this  chapter  where  the  owner  of  such  land has filed an annual application for an  agricultural assessment;    c.  the  land  eligible  for  such real property tax exemption must be  maintained as land used in  agricultural  production  as  part  of  such  orchard or vineyard for each year such exemption is granted; and    d.  when the land used for the purpose of replanting or crop expansion  as part of an orchard or vineyard is located within an  area  which  has  been  declared  by  the governor to be a disaster emergency in a year in  which such tax exemption is sought and in a  year  in  which  such  land  meets  all  other  eligibility  requirements  for such tax exemption set  forth in this subdivision, the  maximum  twenty  percent  total  acreage  restriction set forth in paragraph b of this subdivision may be exceeded  for such year and for any remaining successive years, provided, however,  that  the  land  eligible for such real property tax exemption shall not  exceed the total acreage damaged or destroyed by such disaster  in  such  year  or  the  total  acreage  which remains damaged or destroyed in any  remaining successive year. The total acreage for which such exemption is  sought pursuant to this paragraph shall be subject  to  verification  by  the commissioner or his designee.    In  administering  this  subdivision, the portion of the value of land  eligible for such real property tax exemption shall be determined  based  on  the  average  per  acre  assessment  of all agricultural land of the  specific tax parcel as reported in a form approved by the state board of  real property services.

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