Agricultural Districts and Public Policy

Click here for a downloadable PDF of the Ag District Worksheet

The purpose of agricultural districting is to encourage the continued use of farmland for agricultural production. The Program is based on a combination of landowner incentives and protections, all of which are designed to forestall the conversion of farmland to non-agricultural uses. Included in these benefits are preferential real property tax treatment (agricultural assessment and special benefit assessment), and protections against overly restrictive local laws, government funded acquisition or construction projects, and private nuisance suits involving agricultural practices.

One of the most important benefits of the Agricultural Districts Program is the opportunity provided farmland owners to receive real property assessments based on the value of their land for agricultural production rather than on its development value. Farmers receiving agricultural assessment collectively save over $70 million annually throughout NYS. The Division administers the Land Classification System, including maintenance of the statewide master list of agricultural soils. This system provides the basic soils information needed to calculate agricultural assessments for individual farms.

Dutchess County has four Agricultural Districts. There are over 5,000 parcels of land in the four districts. If you would like to determine if a parcel is in the Ag District, please call our office at 845-677-8223 ×115.

Here are some helpful links: