Agricultural Land Classification
Note~The Assessor's office will mail agricultural questionnaires to new property owners of agricultural land. The information that you provide, periodic physical inspections, and aerial imagery will be utilized to review, confirm, update, and verify the use of the land for assessment classification purposes. Please contact our office with any additional questions or concerns, 303-621-3101.
Colorado law requires that agricultural designation is for land being used for the "primary" purpose of obtaining a monetary profit from farming or ranching. Colorado Revised Statute (C.R.S), § 39-1-102, C.R.S. The Agricultural Land Classification is designed to help legitimate farmers and ranchers continue agricultural operations on their land. "Agricultural land" is defined as a parcel of land, whether located in an incorporated or unincorporated area and regardless of the uses for which such land is zoned, that was used the previous two years and presently is used as a farm or ranch. When an agriculture property is purchased, the new owners must continue using the land in an agricultural endeavor in order to keep the agricultural classification.
As of January 1, 2012, "residential land" also includes 2 acres or less of land on which a residential improvement is located and where the improvement is not integral to an agricultural operation conducted on the land; complete the Integral Use Activity Checklist (PDF).
The information submitted in the agricultural questionnaire (Digital Form) will assist in determining the surface use of the land and properly classify parcel according to Colorado Revised Statutes. Periodic physical inspections and aerial imagery review will be utilized to review, confirm, update, and verify the use of the land for assessment and classification purposes.
Actual Value Determined-When
The actual value of agricultural lands, exclusive of building improvements thereon, shall be determined by consideration of the earning or productive capacity of such lands during a reasonable period of time. (§ 39-1-103(5)(a), Colorado Revised Statutes
Improvements & Water Rights - Valuation
"Improvements" means all structures, buildings, fixtures, fences and water rights erected upon or affixed to land, whether or not title to such land has been acquired. (§ 39-1-102(6.3) C.R.S)
Improvements shall be appraised and valued separately from land, except improvements other than buildings on land which is used solely and exclusively for agricultural purposes, in which case the land, water rights, and improvements other than buildings shall be appraised and valued as a unit. (§ 39-5-105(1) C.R.S)
Agricultural structures used as an ancillary part of the operation are typically valued using the cost approach. The actual value is multiplied by the statutory 29% assessment rate. For Tax Years 2022 and 2023 the agricultural assessment rate has been temporarily reduced to 26.4%.