Open-Space Property Value Assessment Updated:07/2013

Agricultural, ranch, and forest land may qualify for special tax treatment as "open-space land" (Sec. 51118, Govt. Code; Reg. 470, 18 CCR). In valuing open-space land that is "enforceably restricted" for the production of produce, livestock, or timber, a county assessor may not consider sales data but rather must use the present worth of the income that the future harvest of crops from the land and the income that other allowed compatible uses can reasonably be expected to yield under prudent management (Sec. 423.5, Rev. & Tax. Code; Reg. 53, 18 CCR).
Compatible use - is a use that does not significantly detract from the use of property for growing and harvesting timber and includes such uses as management for watershed, and for fish and wildlife habitat, and for grazing (Sec. 51104, Govt. Code). The capitalization rate used in valuing other open-space land, discussed at ¶20-194 , must be used in valuing timberland.
Open-space land is "enforceably restricted" for purposes of reduced taxation if it is subject to a contract, agreement, scenic restriction entered into prior to January 1, 1975, open-space or agricultural conservation easement, or wildlife habitat contract.

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