105-277.4.  Agricultural, horticultural and forestland - Application; appraisal at use value; appeal; deferred taxes.

(a)        Application. - Property coming within one of the classes defined in G.S. 105-277.3 is eligible for taxation on the basis of the value of the property in its present use if a timely and proper application is filed with the assessor of the county in which the property is located. The application must clearly show that the property comes within one of the classes and must also contain any other relevant information required by the assessor to properly appraise the property at its present-use value. An initial application must be filed during the regular listing period of the year for which the benefit of this classification is first claimed, or within 30 days of the date shown on a notice of a change in valuation made pursuant to G.S. 105-286 or G.S. 105-287. A new application is not required to be submitted unless the property is transferred or becomes ineligible for use-value appraisal because of a change in use or acreage. An application required due to transfer of the land may be submitted at any time during the calendar year but must be submitted within 60 days of the date of the property's transfer.

(a1)      Late Application. - Upon a showing of good cause by the applicant for failure to make a timely application as required by subsection (a) of this section, an application may be approved by the board of equalization and review or, if that board is not in session, by the board of county commissioners. An untimely application approved under this subsection applies only to property taxes levied by the county or municipality in the calendar year in which the untimely application is filed. Decisions of the county board may be appealed to the Property Tax Commission.

(b)        Appraisal at Present-use Value. - Upon receipt of a properly executed application, the assessor must appraise the property at its present-use value as established in the schedule prepared pursuant to G.S. 105-317. In appraising the property at its present-use value, the assessor must appraise the improvements located on qualifying land according to the schedules and standards used in appraising other similar improvements in the county. If all or any part of a qualifying tract of land is located within the limits of an incorporated city or town, or is property annexed subject to G.S. 160A-37(f1) or G.S. 160A-49(f1), the assessor must furnish a copy of the property record showing both the present-use appraisal and the valuation upon which the property would have been taxed in the absence of this classification to the collector of the city or town. The assessor must also notify the tax collector of any changes in the appraisals or in the eligibility of the property for the benefit of this classification. Upon a request for a certification pursuant to G.S. 160A-37(f1) or G.S.160A-49(f1), or any change in the certification, the assessor for the county where the land subject to the annexation is located must, within 30 days, determine if the land meets the requirements of G.S. 160A-37(f1)(2) or G.S. 160A-49(f1)(2) and report the results of its findings to the city.

(b1)      Appeal. - Decisions of the assessor regarding the qualification or appraisal of property under this section may be appealed to the county board of equalization and review or, if that board is not in session, to the board of county commissioners. An appeal must be made within 60 days after the decision of the assessor. If an owner submits additional information to the assessor pursuant to G.S. 105-296(j), the appeal must be made within 60 days after the assessor's decision based on the additional information. Decisions of the county board may be appealed to the Property Tax Commission.

(c)        Deferred Taxes. - Land meeting the conditions for classification under G.S. 105-277.3 must be taxed on the basis of the value of the land for its present use. The difference between the taxes due on the present-use basis and the taxes that would have been payable in the absence of this classification, together with any interest, penalties, or costs that may accrue thereon, are a lien on the real property of the taxpayer as provided in G.S. 105-355(a). The difference in taxes must be carried forward in the records of the taxing unit or units as deferred taxes. The deferred taxes for the preceding three fiscal years are due and payable in accordance with G.S. 105-277.1F when the property loses its eligibility for deferral as a result of a disqualifying event. A disqualifying event occurs when the land fails to meet any condition or requirement for classification or when an application is not approved.

(d)       Exceptions. - Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, if property loses its eligibility for present use value classification solely due to one of the following reasons, no deferred taxes are due and the lien for the deferred taxes is extinguished:

(1)        There is a change in income caused by enrollment of the property in the federal conservation reserve program established under 16 U.S.C. Chapter 58.

(2)        The property is conveyed by gift to a nonprofit organization and qualifies for exclusion from the tax base pursuant to G.S. 105-275(12) or G.S. 105-275(29).

(3)        The property is conveyed by gift to the State, a political subdivision of the State, or the United States.

(e)        Repealed by Session Laws 1997-270, s. 3, effective July 3, 1997.  (1973, c. 709, s. 1; c. 905; c. 906, ss. 1, 2; 1975, c. 62; c. 746, ss. 3-7; 1981, c. 835; 1985, c. 518, s. 1; c. 667, ss. 5, 6; 1987, c. 45, s. 1; c. 295, s. 5; c. 698, s. 6; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1044, s. 13.2; 1995, c. 443, s. 4; c. 454, s. 3; 1997-270, s. 3; 1998-98, s. 23; 1998-150, s. 1; 2001-499, s. 2; 2002-184, s. 3; 2005-313, s. 4; 2006-30, s. 4; 2008-35, s. 2.3.)