Land used for agricultural land is assessed utilizing two methods. The fair cash value is determined like all property in the state: what a willing buyer would pay a willing seller. However, a 1969 Constitutional amendment provides the basis for agricultural land to have a taxable value that may differ from the fair cash value.
Land used for agricultural purposes is valued for the purpose it is being used: farming. This assessment is based on the following:
- Relative percentages of tillable land, pasture land, and woodland
- Degree of productivity of the soil
- The risk of flooding
- Improvements to and on the land that relate to the production of income
- Row crop capability including allotted crops other than tobacco
- Accessibility to all-weather roads and markets
- Factors which affect the general agricultural or horticultural economy
Agricultural land is defined as "any tract of land, including all income-producing improvements, of at least ten (10) contiguous acres in area used for the production of livestock, livestock products, poultry, poultry products and/or the growing of tobacco and/or other crops including timber, or where devoted to and meeting the requirements and qualifications for payments pursuant to agriculture programs under an agreement with the state or federal government."Horticultural land means "any tract of land, including all income-producing improvements, of at least five (5) contiguous acres in area commercially used for the cultivation of a garden, orchard, or the raising of fruits or nuts, vegetables, flowers or ornamental plants".
Land that has been valued and taxed as agricultural for five or more consecutive years under the same ownership, fails to quality for the classification through no other action on the part of the owner other than ceasing to farm the land, retains its agricultural classification for assessment and taxation purposes.