Or. Admin. R. 150-308-1010 - Farm Use Definitions, Inactivity Due to Illness, and Description of Lands in Non-Exclusive Farm Use

Current through Register Vol. 61, No. 4, April 1, 2022

(1) This rule applies to land in non-exclusive farm use zones that may qualify for special assessment under ORS 308A.068.
(2) Definitions:
(a) "Farm unit" means a farming enterprise which includes all parcels being farmed by a single operator, whether the operator owns or leases the farmland.
(b) "Farm use" is defined in ORS 308A.056 and applies to land both inside and outside exclusive farm use zones.
(c) "Illness" means sickness, disease, injury, or disorder of body or mind which prevents the farmer or immediate family member from performing necessary farm operations.
(d) For purposes of subsection (2)(c): "Immediate family member" means the farmer's spouse, children, or any person for whom the farmer has a legal responsibility including, but not limited to, guardianship of a dependent parent or child.
(e) "Land" means land in its natural state, including any site developments (see ORS 307.010).
(A) "Land" includes all mines, minerals, quarries, dikes, banks, drainage tile, water rights, and the like. Since ORS 308A.056 relates only to land used for farming, any mineral reserves under the land continue to be assessed at real market value as defined by ORS 308.205. Minerals include oil and gas. Severed mineral interests, even though underlying zoned farmland, are assessed to the owner in accordance with ORS 308.115.
(B) For the purpose of assessment of land in farm use, "land" does not include buildings, structures, improvements (unless their contribution is an integral part of the income attributable to the land), machinery, equipment, land improvements for homesites, fixtures erected upon or affixed to the land itself, or land used for a non-farm residence or other non-farm purpose.
(f) "Wasteland" includes but is not limited to swamps, rock outcroppings, gullies, unusable overflow lands, and drainage ways.
(A) Wasteland does not include tillable lands left idle or uncultivated and non-tillable grazing lands left unused when the accepted farming practice is to utilize the land.
(B) Wasteland does include land described in paragraph (2)(f)(A), if the owner can show that it is uneconomical to utilize the land as part of the farm unit. Utilizing the land is uneconomical if the cost to raise crops or animals exceeds the value of the crops or animals. Examples in which it would not be economical to utilize the land include:
(i) An unfenced area of grazing land where the annualized cost of fencing would exceed the income derived from the land.
(ii) An area of a farm that was only profitable through irrigation that is now unused because the cost of electricity to operate the irrigation pumps increases expenses beyond the income that can be derived from that area of land.
(C) Wasteland caused by the taxpayer, owner, or person in control of the property is not entitled to special farm use assessment. Examples of taxpayer-created wasteland include "mined out" land where gravel, soil, or other minerals have been extracted, and mine tailing refuse areas.
(3)
(a) The law seeks to give the benefits of ORS 308A.068 to that farmland which is operated primarily for the purpose of obtaining a profit in money.
(b) The assessor must consider all requirements of ORS 308A.056 and be convinced that the land is used in a manner that is reasonably designed and intended to obtain a profit in money by accepted farming practices. If the primary purpose of the current use of the land is not to obtain a profit in money, the land is not farm use land. This primary purpose of the land must be ascertained from overt acts. All pertinent facts will be considered to determine if property qualifies as farm use land. Pertinent information may include:
(A) Present and past use of the land.
(B) If the farming operation is conducted by another for the owner, the provisions of the oral or written agreement including the term, area let, consideration, and provisions for termination.
(C) Participation in governmental or private agricultural programs or activities.
(D) Productivity of the land.
(E) Number of livestock or poultry (by type).
(F) Amount of last harvest of each crop.
(G) Money from products of farm use activity, the products of which come from the specially assessed land.
(H) Uses of the land for other than farming operation.
(I) Ratio of farm or agricultural use as against other uses of the land.
(4)
(a) Farm inactivity for one year or less due to illness of the farmer or an immediate family member does not disqualify the property from farm use special assessment or continuation of abatement.
(A) Proof of illness must be provided to the assessor by a written statement from a licensed medical practitioner. The statement must identify the nature of the illness, the onset of the illness, and the extent of its debilitating nature.
(B) The timing of the illness must prevent farming practices.
(b) For meeting the farm income requirements of ORS 308A.071 and 308A.119, the year of farm inactivity due to illness is not counted as one of the five years for income or abatement determination.
(5) Notwithstanding section (3), any part of a farm unit that is employed in or supports a non-farm use does not qualify for special assessment. Examples of non-farm use include, but are not limited to:
(a) Land under retail stores, except for farm stands offering agricultural products for sale as described in ORS 215.213 and 215.283.
(b) Land under processing facilities, except processing facilities described by ORS 215.213 and 215.283.
(c) Land under areas used to encourage the use or enjoyment of agricultural products such as tasting rooms, banquet halls, public gathering areas, or public entertainment.
(d) Land under structures such as communication towers, and improvements that support the structures.
(e) Land under structures used for power generation or transmission such as wind turbines, substations, crane pads, and improvements that support the structures.
(f) Private roads not used primarily to support the farming operation such as those used to access structures listed in subsections (d) and (e).

Notes

Or. Admin. R. 150-308-1010
RD 8-1992, f. 12-29-92, cert. ef. 12-31-92; REV 11-2000, f. 12-29-00, cert. ef. 12-31-00, Renumbered from 150-308.380-(C); REV 17-2008, f. 12-26-08, cert. ef. 1-1-09; Renumbered from 150-308A.056, REV 25-2016, f. 8-12-16, cert. ef. 9/1/2016; REV 67-2017, amend filed 12/22/2017, effective 1/1/2018

Statutory/Other Authority: ORS 305.100

Statutes/Other Implemented: ORS 308.380 & 308A.056

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