Friday, April 10, 2009

Use Value Assessment

If you are looking at purchasing a rural property, you might see a reference to a Use Value Assessment when looking at MLS property descriptions.

The Use Value Assessment is piece of Wisconsin legislation that tries to prevent urban sprawl and protect agricultural use of our farm land.

When a property is being used for agricultural purposes, it is zoned Agricultural and is assessed differently than land that is zone residential. Agricultural land is assessed at its use value rather than its market value.

When rural property is parceled off from farms to build homes or when small farms are no longer being actively used for agricultural purposes, the land's use changes and the assessment type changes. Wisconsin has a one time tax that applies when this happens, and that is the Use Value Assessment.

Buyers generally are the ones to pay this assessment because the use changes after the sale has taken place. It can be written in to an offer to purchase that the seller will pay this if a buyer prefers, but many sellers do not consent to this. A Realtor can help you figure out if the Use Value Assessment applies and if so, what it is likely to be on whatever property you are interested in.

For detailed information on the Use Value Assessment, please check the Wisconsin Department of Revenue pamphlet on Agricultural Assessments.

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