The Farmland Assessment Act of 1964 was amended
in 1986, requiring some woodland owners to develop and implement
a state-approved forest management plan to qualify for reduced
Under the amended act, woodland owners must fulfill special
requirements concerning property used exclusively for the
production and sale of forest products, excluding Christmas
trees. Some woodland owners are eligible for reduced property
taxes if they follow a state approved forestry plan.
The DEP's Forest Service is responsible for reviewing the
woodland owner's forest management plan and for inspecting
each site every three years to determine if the activities
being conducted fit the specific woodland area and are being
implemented as reported.
Woodland owners are required to complete and submit an application
(Form FA-1) and the woodland data form (Form WD-1) to qualify
for farmland assessment. These forms must be submitted to
the local tax assessor and the NJ Forest Service annually.
Your local tax assessor retains the final authority to determine
who qualifies for farmland assessment.
The NJ Forest Service aids the woodland owner by reviewing
the application and by reporting to local tax assessors the
results of the review. In addition, the Forest Service will
inspect the accomplishments reported on the WD-1 form and
report to the local assessor any non-compliance. For more
information contact your State
Regional Forester or a Consulting
Proper management of New Jersey's more than 228,000 acres
of private woodlands currently under the Farmland Assessment
Act will not only help eliminate excessive and unnecessary
cutting of one of the state's valuable natural resources,
but also will enhance the benefits of properly managed woodlands,
such as improved air and water quality and wildlife habitat.
Download the Checklist for
preparing a NJ FLA Woodland Management Plan.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the basic qualifications of
the Farmland Assessment Act of 1964?
• The land must have been actively devoted
to agricultural or horticultural use for the two successive
years immediately preceding the tax year for which farmland
assessment is requested.
• The area must be at least five acres
• Gross sales of agricultural of horticultural
products - in addition to any payments received under
a soil conservation program - must average at least
$500 plus additional $5 per cropland acre and $.50 per
woodland acre for each acre over 5 or there must be
clear evidence of anticipated yearly gross sales and
such payments amounting to at least your minimum gross
2. What happens if the land has been assessed
for agricultural or horticultural use and the land use changes?
When land assessed under the act is changed to a use other
than agricultural or horticultural, it is subject to additional
or roll-back taxes. The land is subject to the payment of
roll-back taxes for the year in which the change in use
of the land occurs and in each of the immediately preceding
two tax years in which the land was assessed under the act.
3. Will there be more inspections on my
Yes. The Forest Service will Inspect your accomplishments
at least once every three years after the initial inspection.
4. What woodland owners are required to
have a woodland management plan (WMP) and program?
If your woodland acreage total is more than 50 percent of
your total agricultural and horticultural lands, you will
need a WMP to qualify your additional woodlands under the
act. (Exception: An owner claiming farmland farmland
assessment for wooded property exceeding the amount presumed
to be supportive and subordinate woodland must submit an
explanation and proof to the local assessor.)
5. Will I need a WMP for all my woodlands?
Technically, no. For example, if you have 50 acres of crop
land and 60 acres of woodland you would only be required
to prepare a plan for 10 acres. However, it is strongly
recommended that you have a WMP for all your woodlands.
6. Do I have to submit a WMP each year?
No. However, if a substantial revision is made at any time,
such as for selling part of the property or changing in
prescribed forestry activities, then a new WMP must be submitted
7. What is meant by a description of how
the property boundaries are or will be marked and delineated?
Property boundaries should be clearly defined by one or
a combination of the following features: stone walls, fence
lines, posters, paint marks, hedge rows, etc. The WMP should
describe what these boundary features are. Relying on corner
markers to identify boundaries will not be sufficient. If
they are not clear, boundaries should be marked within three
years from initial application of filed WMP.
8. What happens if my woodland was
under farmland assessment but fails to meet the conditions
set forth in N.J.A.C. 18:152.7?
Land that fails to meet the additional conditions during
the first year the conditions are imposed, will not be subject
to roll-back taxes, but will be treated as land for which
an annual application was not submitted.
9. What is a statement of the average
overall productivity capabilities of my woodland? State
how your woodlands will meet the gross sales income requirement
of the Farmland Assessment Act of 1964. The statement should
include where and how will derive your annual income of
$500 plus. This statement is most important when all income
received is derived from your woodlands.