Earlier this month, the Fayette County, Kentucky Property Valuation Administration (“Fayette PVA”), in conjunction with the Kentucky Department of Revenue, announced changes to the guidelines and policies for agricultural property assessments in Fayette County for the tax year beginning Jan. 1, 2017.

Previously, only agricultural capability was required to receive an agricultural assessment on non-commercial property of 10 acres or more. After Jan. 1, 2017, actual agricultural use, not just agricultural capability, must be shown in order for the property to be classified as agricultural.

Application forms for an agricultural assessment should be distributed around March 1; it will be the property owner’s responsibility to complete the form and submit it to the PVA for review and approval.

While this change will make the classification problem easier in some circumstances, it still does not address exactly what constitutes “agricultural use”. The lack of a consistent legislative definition of this term has led to widespread inconsistencies in the assessment process throughout Kentucky.

The Fayette PVA also indicated that it will no longer automatically grant the agricultural classification on properties transferred on or after Jan. 1, 2013. The new owners must apply for the agricultural classification, and failure to apply will result in loss of the agricultural classification effective Jan. 1, 2017.