Agriculture & Grazing

Property owners may apply for a special method of valuation for land if the land is used primarily for agricultural purposes or grazing. Should an owner qualify, the valuation of your land for property tax purposes will result in an assessment that is significantly lower than the market value of the property. The benefit to the property owner is a reduction of assessed valuation, thus resulting in lower taxes on the agricultural land. To be eligible for the special method of valuation for land used primarily for agricultural purposes, the property owner must demonstrate that the use of the land is primarily agricultural. The property owner must submit objective evidence that the land is used for the production of agricultural products, such as: plants, crops, trees, forest products, orchard crops, livestock, captive deer, elk, poultry or fish, and that the agricultural products were:

  • Produced for sale or subsistence in whole or in part; or
  • Used by others for sale or resale; or
  • Used as feed, seed or breeding stock, to produce other such products which other products were to be held for sale or subsistence.

The land may also qualify if the use of the land met the requirements for payment or other compensation pursuant to a soil conservation program under an agreement with an agency of the federal government, or if the owner of the land was "resting" the land to maintain its capacity to produce such products in subsequent years. The owner may "rest" the land for up to three consecutive years.

Once land has been classified as land used primarily for agricultural purposes, no application for that classification is required for any succeeding year so long as the primary use of the land remains agricultural and land ownership has not changed. The land will retain its status for property taxation purposes in every succeeding year as land used primarily for agricultural purposes. When use of the land changes such that it is no longer used primarily for agricultural purposes, the owner of the land must report the change in use to the county assessor. If subsequently use of the land again becomes primarily agricultural, the owner must apply for classification of the land as land used primarily for agricultural purposes. When the owner of the land has not reported that the use of the land is no longer primarily for agricultural purposes but the county assessor has evidence sufficient to rebut the presumptions in the tax code (NMSA 7-36- 20), the county assessor must change the classification of the land. The owner may protest the change in classification within the yearly deadline which is 30 days after the date of mailing of the assessor's Notice of Value.

Agricultural & Grazing Classifications - Special Use Properties

In order to preserve the limited lands available in New Mexico for agricultural purposes and grazing, the New Mexico legislature has given special valuation status to agricultural land. (7-36-20 NMSA 1978). Qualified owners of such land must submit an application to the county assessor within 30 days of the official mailing date of the Notice of Value (typically May 1st) and must be prepared to prove that agriculture is the primary use of the land. For the purpose of this section, agricultural uses generally means the use of land for the production of plant crops, trees, forest products, orchard crops, livestock, poultry or fish. The term also includes the use of land that meets the requirements for payment of other compensation pursuant to a soil conservation program under an agreement with an agency of the federal government.

  1. Brawn Aguirre

    Agriculture and Livestock Appraiser

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