Public Act 490 provides for the valuation of land that is used and classified as farm, forest or open space. When land is classified as farm land, forest land or open space, its assessment is based on its use value rather than on market value. The use values are recommended by the Office of Policy and Management and the Department of Agriculture and are updated every 5 years.
Qualifying for a Classification
To qualify for classification of land as farm land, the land must actively be farmed and application must be made to the Assessor's Office.
To qualify for classification of land as forest land, the land must consist of 25 contiguous acres of forest land, the land must be reported as forest land by a certified forester and application for the classification must be made to the Assessor's Office.
To qualify for classification of land as open space, the designated open space must be undeveloped land in excess of 5 acres and must be located in zones RA, AA or A. Application must be made to the Assessor's Office.
The application period for Public Act 490 land is between September 1 and October 31 in a non-revaluation year. In a revaluation year, the application period is between September 1 and December 30.
Conveyance Tax Penalty
Because the intent of Public Act 490 is the preservation of Connecticut's farm, forest, and open space lands, once such lands are classified they become subject to a conveyance tax penalty upon a sale or change of use within a 10-year period.