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SENATE BILL NO. 121
INTRODUCED BY DEVLIN G
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT REVISING THE ELIGIBILITY OF CERTAIN PARCELS OF LAND TO QUALIFY AS AGRICULTURAL LAND; PROVIDING THAT PARCELS OF LAND THAT ARE PART OF A PLATTED SUBDIVISION THAT IS IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE MONTANA SUBDIVISION AND PLATTING ACT MAY NOT BE VALUED AS AGRICULTURAL LAND; AMENDING SECTION 15-7-202, MCA; AND PROVIDING A DELAYED EFFECTIVE DATE AND AN APPLICABILITY DATE."
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 15-7-202, MCA, is amended to read:
"15-7-202. Eligibility of land for valuation as agricultural. (1) (a)
Contiguous Except as provided in subsection (3),
contiguous parcels of land totaling 160 acres or more under one ownership are eligible for valuation, assessment, and
taxation as agricultural land each year that none of the parcels is devoted to a residential, commercial, or industrial use.
Contiguous Except as provided in subsection (3), contiguous parcels of land of 20 acres or more but less than 160
acres under one ownership are eligible for valuation, assessment, and taxation as agricultural land if the land is used
primarily for raising and marketing, as defined in subsection (1)(c), products that meet the definition of agricultural in
15-1-101. A parcel of land is presumed to be used primarily for raising agricultural products if the owner or the owner's
immediate family members, agent, employee, or lessee markets not less than $1,500 in annual gross income from the raising
of agricultural products produced by the land. The owner of land that is not presumed to be agricultural land shall verify to
the department that the land is used primarily for raising and marketing agricultural products.
(ii) Noncontiguous parcels of land that meet the income requirement of subsection (1)(b)(i) are eligible for valuation, assessment, and taxation as agricultural land under subsection (1)(b)(i) if:
(A) the land is an integral part of a bona fide agricultural operation undertaken by the persons set forth in subsection (1)(b)(i) as defined in this section; and
(B) the land is not devoted to a residential, commercial, or industrial use.
(c) For the purposes of this subsection (1):
(i) "marketing" means the selling of agricultural products produced by the land and includes but is not limited to:
(A) rental or lease of the land as long as the land is actively used for grazing livestock or for other agricultural purposes; and
(B) rental payments made under the federal conservation reserve program or a successor to that program;
(ii) land that is devoted to residential use or that is used for agricultural buildings and is included in or is contiguous to land under the same ownership that is classified as agricultural land, other than land described in 15-6-133(1)(c), must be classified as agricultural land, and the land must be valued as provided in 15-7-206.
Contiguous Except as provided in subsection (3), contiguous or noncontiguous parcels of land totaling less than 20
acres under one ownership that are actively devoted to agricultural use are eligible for valuation, assessment, and taxation as
agricultural each year that the parcels meet any of the following qualifications:
(a) the parcels produce and the owner or the owner's agent, employee, or lessee markets not less than $1,500 in annual gross income from the raising of agricultural products as defined in 15-1-101; or
(b) the parcels would have met the qualification set out in subsection (2)(a) were it not for independent, intervening causes of production failure beyond the control of the producer or marketing delay for economic advantage, in which case proof of qualification in a prior year will suffice.
that do not meet the qualifications set out in subsections (1) and (2) may not be classified or valued as
agricultural if they are part of a platted subdivision that is filed with the county clerk and recorder in compliance with the
Montana Subdivision and Platting Act.
(4) Land may not be classified or valued as agricultural if it is subdivided land with stated restrictions effectively prohibiting its use for agricultural purposes. For the purposes of this subsection only, "subdivided land" includes parcels of land larger than 20 acres that have been subdivided for commercial or residential purposes.
(5) The grazing on land by a horse or other animals kept as a hobby and not as a part of a bona fide agricultural enterprise is not considered a bona fide agricultural operation.
(6) The department may not classify land less than 160 acres as agricultural unless the owner has applied to have land classified as agricultural land. Land of 20 acres or more but less than 160 acres for which no application for agricultural classification has been made is taxed as provided in 15-6-133(1)(c). If land has been valued, assessed, and taxed as agricultural land in any year, it must continue to be valued, assessed, and taxed as agricultural until the department reclassifies the property. A reclassification does not mean revaluation pursuant to 15-7-111.
(7) For the purposes of this part, growing timber is not an agricultural use."
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Effective date. [This act] is effective January 1, 2000.
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Applicability. [This act] applies to tax years beginning after December 31, 1999.
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Latest Version of SB 121 (SB0121.01)
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