The Farmland Assessment Act of 1964 was amended in 1986, requiring some woodland owners to develop and implement a state-approved forest management plan to qualify for reduced property taxation.
Under the amended act, woodland owners must fulfill special requirements concerning property used exclusively for the production and sale of forest products, excluding Christmas trees. Some woodland owners are eligible for reduced property taxes if they follow a state approved forestry plan.
The New Jersey Forest Service is responsible for reviewing the woodland owner's forest management plan and for inspecting each site every three years to determine if the activities being conducted fit the specific woodland area and are being implemented as reported.
Woodland owners are required to complete and submit an application (Form FA-1) and the woodland data form (Form WD-1) to qualify for farmland assessment. These forms must be submitted to the local tax assessor and the NJ Forest Service annually. Your local tax assessor retains the final authority to determine who qualifies for farmland assessment.
The New Jersey Forest Service aids the woodland owner by reviewing the application and by reporting to local tax assessors the results of the review. In addition, the Forest Service will inspect the accomplishments reported on the WD-1 form and report to the local assessor any non-compliance. For more information contact your State Regional Forester or a Consulting Forester.
Proper management of New Jersey's more than 228,000 acres of private woodlands currently under the Farmland Assessment Act will not only help eliminate excessive and unnecessary cutting of one of the state's valuable natural resources, but also will enhance the benefits of properly managed woodlands, such as improved air and water quality and wildlife habitat.
Download the Checklist for preparing a NJ FLA Woodland Management Plan.
A copy of a woodland management plan prepared in accordance with provisions noted under N.J.A.C. 18:15-2.10; (First year only, until plan is renewed or changed.)
A scaled map of the land showing the location of woodland activity and the soil group classes of the land (annually).
A completed woodland data form (Form WD-1), as prescribed by the director of the Division of Taxation. The information to be provided by the landowner must include the following (annually):
Complete applications should be sent to your local tax assessor and the NJ Forest Service's appropriate regional office.
If the above information is not submitted annually to the assessor, the land will not qualify for agricultural use.