Tioga County Legislature Announces Annual 2021 Farming District Enrollment Period for Farmers and Rural Landowners to Include Land in NYS Farming District Program | WIVT



From the Tioga County EC Development and Planning Department:

The Tioga County Legislature announces its annual agricultural district registration period for 2021, which will run from January 2 to 31, in accordance with Section 25AA, §303-B of the Agriculture and Markets Act. the NYS and Tioga County Legislature Resolution 296-03. During this time, any farm property owner can apply for the inclusion of viable farmland that is not already included in an NYS Certified Farm District. Tioga County has three agricultural districts made up of plots or individual properties, but organized according to municipal boundaries. The North Tioga Agricultural District includes agricultural plots in the towns of Richford, Berkshire, Newark Valley and the village of Newark Valley. The Spencer Agricultural District contains agricultural properties in the towns of Spencer, Barton, Candor and Tioga. The third is the agricultural district of Owego / Nichols containing properties in these two towns.

Any owner of agricultural property in any of these three districts can apply to have their land included in these districts during this registration period. The owner must demonstrate that the agricultural land is viable or actively exploited. The owner must also provide the owner’s name and tax card number for the property and a description of the property including the boundaries of the plot. Only entire plots can be included. The Tioga County Legislature is due to hold a public hearing and formally adopt the land requested to be included in Certified Farming Districts by the end of April 2021.

This possibility only concerns the inclusion of land in agricultural districts. Requests from existing landowners of an agricultural district to remove land from an agricultural district can only be processed during the regular eight-year review periods. There are many benefits for farmers to include active farmland in an NYS Certified Agricultural District, such as:

Right of farm:

The right to agriculture is probably the most beneficial and the best known. Under this section of the law, the
Agriculture and Markets Commissioner to investigate nuisance complaints against a farmer
surgery. If the Commissioner determines that the agricultural practice in question is sound, it is not considered to be a nuisance. The commissioner only investigates farms located in agricultural districts. Municipalities can also adopt their own local farming rights.

Local government policy:

When city or village councils make local laws, plans or ordinances, they should do so in a manner that supports the objectives and policy of the Agricultural Districts Act and does not unreasonably limit or regulate agricultural operations with agricultural districts. The Agriculture and Markets Commissioner will investigate complaints and is authorized to take legal action against local governments that do not adhere to this policy.

Restoration of agricultural land from natural gas development activities :

NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, Division of Agricultural Protection and Development can provide technical review and recommendations to landowners participating in the agricultural district program to avoid or minimize agricultural impacts associated with natural gas development such as roads access, well platforms and pipeline construction Activities. The review includes mitigation and restoration measures at the construction stage as well as post-construction recommendations (follow-up) on impacts on agricultural land and corresponding rehabilitation measures.

Notice of Intent:

Another advantage is that any public body proposing a residential, commercial, industrial or infrastructure project financed by the State or aimed at acquiring land in an agricultural district is required to file a notice of intention with the Commissioner for agriculture and markets. The County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board then has the responsibility of developing an agricultural data statement that details negative impacts on agriculture, including the loss of viable farmland.

Tax incentives:

Finally, if agricultural land subject to an agricultural valuation is converted to non-agricultural use, tax arrears are due for 8 years. However, if the land is registered in an agricultural district, only 5 years of tax arrears are collected. In addition, city councils can pass resolutions authorizing the use of agricultural appraisals for appraisal value, instead of a full land appraisal for properties located in agricultural districts, in beneficiary areas such as districts. fire departments, ambulance districts, etc. District Program for the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets. Therefore, if you have any questions about this agricultural district registration period, please contact Megan Griffiths, Agricultural Development Specialist, at (607) 687-8263, email [email protected] for questions and information.

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