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Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV)

The Current Agricultural Use Valuation program provides a substantial reduction in the valuation of land that is exclusively dedicated to agricultural purposes.

Initial and renewal applications may be filed after January 1st. There is a fee of $25 for initial applications. Checks must be payable to: Highland County Auditor Bill Fawley and should be forwarded to:
119 Governor Foraker Place
P. O. Box 822
Hillsboro, OH 45133

All initial applications for CAUV must be filed prior to the first Monday in March.

There is no charge for renewal applications for land already on the CAUV program. Renewal applications will be mailed to each owner annually and must be returned prior to the first Monday in March.

Land that is removed from the CAUV program is charged a recoupment charge equal the savings for three years that resulted from participation in the CAUV valuation versus valuation outside of the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all farms in Ohio used exclusively for agricultural purposes eligible to be taxed on their current agricultural use value?
Yes, if they contain 10 acres or more exclusive of any homesite. Those under 10 acres can qualify if the land has produced a gross income for the past three years of at least $2,500 each year.

Will all farms automatically be valued on a CAUV basis?
No. Applications must be made each year at the Highland County Auditor's office.

What does an owner have to do to be taxed on the Current Agricultural Use Value?
File an application with the County Auditor between the first Monday in January and the first Monday in March and pay a one-time application fee of $25. There is no annual renewal fee.

What qualifies as land devoted exclusively to agricultural use?

  1. It qualifies if more than 10 acres are devoted exclusively to commercial production of field crops; tobacco, fruit, vegetables, timber, nursery stock, ornamental trees, sod or flowers; or if it qualified for a land retirement or conservation program under an agreement with the federal government.
  2. If less than 10 acres, it qualifies if, during the past three years, it produced a gross income of at least $2,500 each year or has an anticipated gross income of such amount during the current year.

 Do you have to own a farm for three years before you can apply?
No. The farm must qualify not the owner.

How often is real estate appraised for tax assessment purposes?
Revaluations occur every three years.

Is the taxable values the same as appraised value?
No. In Ohio, tax value, or tax assessed value, is 35% of the appraised market value.

How were farms valued before this law was enacted?
On the basis of estimated market value.

How does CAUV valuation differ from fair market value?
The fair market value approach depends upon the comparison of sales of similarly situated farms and where the highest and best use sets value. The CAUV method depends upon capitalizing the expected net income from farming.

Will some farms have lower appraised values using the CAUV?
Yes. The fair market value reflects what a buyer is willing to pay regardless of the farm's agricultural production capability.

Are the term's "tracts", "lots" and "parcels" used interchangeably?
For the purpose of this act they are.

Some land used exclusively for timber production has been taxed at a lower rate for many years. How does this affect the new act?
Woodland is not eligible for tax savings under both laws. An owner must choose one or the other. To qualifiy under the CAUV program, a forest management plan must be prepared by a licensed forester and apporved by the county auditor.

What are the liabilities if incorrect information is given?
If you knowingly give false information on an application, you are guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

What happens if the land is converted into a non-qualifying use?
The owner is required to pay the tax savings for the last three years that resulted from the land being valued under the CAUV program.

What causes one to become subject to recoupment?
Failure to reapply for CAUV tax appraisal or if a change in use occurs so that the land is not devoted exclusively to agricultural purposes.

Do golf courses qualify under the CAUV?
No.

Does raising race horses or saddle horses qualify?
Yes. This is a type of animal husbandry. However, a racetrack does not qualify.

Do greenhouses qualify?
Yes. As long as it meets the CAUV income requirements.

Do garden stores qualify?
No.

Does aquaculture qualify?
Yes, the raising of plants or animals as fish or shellfish in or under the sea, lake or river or other body of water.

Does apiculture qualify?
Yes. The raising and care of bees qualifies.