Current Agricultural Use
Ohio Revised Code section 5713.30(A) contains the statutory definition of land devoted exclusively to agricultural use. Qualified land devoted exclusively to agricultural use means land used for commercial agricultural activity, which is limited to the following activities: commercial animal or poultry husbandry, algaculture, aquaculture, apiculture, the commercial production of timber, field crops, tobacco, fruits, vegetables, nursery stock, ornamental trees, sod or flowers, and hemp if licensed under R.C. 928.02, as well as certain timber not grown for commercial purposes.
Qualified land includes land devoted to biodiesel production, biomass energy production, electric or heat energy production, and biologically derived methane gas production if the land on which the production facility is located is contiguous to or part of a parcel of land under common ownership or leasehold that is otherwise devoted exclusively to agricultural use, provided that (1) at least 50% of the feedstock used in the production is derived from agricultural feedstock (2) at least 20% is derived from parcels of land under common ownership or leasehold, and (3) none of the feedstock consists of human waste. Agricultural feedstock is manure and food waste, and human waste includes sludge as defined in R.C. 6111.01. Agricultural use excludes processing facilities and plants such as grain elevators, slaughtering plants and wineries.
Land devoted to agricultural use includes parcels or portions of parcels that are used for conservation practices if it comprises 25% or less of the total land qualifying for CAUV. Conservation practices are used to abate soil erosion required in the management of the farm and include grass waterways, terraces, filter strips, field borders, windbreaks, riparian buffers, wetlands, ponds and cover crops for that purpose.
Land devoted to conservation practices or enrolled in a federal land retirement or conservation program under an agreement with an agency of the federal government is valued at the lowest value of all soil types beginning with the tax year the county completes a scheduled countywide revaluation for 2017 or thereafter (R.C. 5713.31). The land must be enrolled as of the first day of January of the tax year and described on the initial application. If a county auditor discovers that the farmland ceases to be used for those purposes sooner than 36 months after the initial certification, the county auditor must recoup an amount equal to the extra tax savings for the most recent one or two preceding years that the land was valued at the lowest valued soil type (R.C. 5713.34).
Qualifying acreage is the number of acres that meet the definition of agricultural use. To qualify for CAUV, land at least ten acres in size must have been devoted exclusively to commercial agricultural use during the three years prior to the year in which the CAUV application is filed. With certain exceptions, land less than ten acres must meet the same requirements and have earned a minimum average yearly gross income of $2,500 from the sale of products raised on the land during the three years prior to the filing of the application. If actual income figures are unavailable for the three-year waiting period, evidence of anticipated qualifying income may be submitted.
Other qualifying acreage includes land receiving compensation for land retirement or conservation programs under an agreement with the federal government.
Qualifying acreage includes the growth of timber for a noncommercial purpose if the woodland is part of a farm with ten or more otherwise qualifying acres. The woodlands must be adjacent to or part of a qualifying parcel.
Agritourism on qualifying land does not disqualify that land from CAUV. Agritourism, as defined in Ohio Revised Code section 901.80(A)(2), means an agriculturally related educational, entertainment, historical, cultural or recreational activity, including you-pick operations or farm markets, conducted on a farm that allows or invites members of the general public to observe, participate in or enjoy that activity.
Mixed Use Parcels
Some applicants may own mixed-use parcels where only a portion of the land is qualified for the program. These parcels may be enrolled in the program if the areas are independently qualified under the CAUV guidelines and are appropriately identified to the auditor.