The Metropolitan Agricultural Preserve Program, established by the Minnesota Legislature in 1980, is a tool for protecting farmland in the Twin Cities Metroplitan Area. Local governments identify long-term agricultural lands and establish protective zoning, according to Minnesota Statute 473H.01.
If your property is zoned long-term agricultural by the local community, with a maximum residential density of one house per 40 acres, you may want to consider enrolling in this property tax program.
Owners sign an eight-year perpetual covenant/agreement to leave the property in agricultural use, and farm using acceptable practices as approved by the County Agricultural Service.
The Agricultural Preserve market value is based on sales of agricultural property in non-metropolitan counties as determined by the Minnesota Department of Revenue.
All owners of qualifying agricultural property may apply regardless of homestead status. The property must:
- Be zoned long-term agricultural by the local community, with a maximum residential density of one house per forty acres.
- Be 40 acres in size, however, smaller tracts may qualify in certain instances. Contact the Assessor’s Office at 651-438-4200 or the city/township authority for information.
Property owners apply for the Agricultural Preserves with the local city or township. The application must be approved by the city/township by June 1 of each year, and filed with the County Recorder as soon as possible after approval. The County Assessor must also receive a copy of the approved application. Each city/township handles applications differently—ask your city/township who is responsible for filing.
Benefits of the program
There is no deferred tax like there is in Green Acres. Special assessments cannot be levied on Agricultural Preserve property. Annual property taxes are based on the agricultural market value only.
An additional property tax credit of $1.50 per acre is applied or the tax calculated using 105 percent of the statewide average tax rate is used if that tax is less than calculated using the $1.50 per acre credit.
Getting out of the program
Owners may file an Expiration Notice with the County at any time to get out of the program. The local city/township may also file an Expiration Notice.
Eight years after the Expiration Notice is filed, the property is out of Agricultural Preserve.
A waiver of the eight-year requirement may be granted only by action of the Governor due to some emergency.
Contact the Assessor’s Office at 651-438-4200 for additional information.