The first step in the assessment process is to gather information on ownership, location, use, land and building characteristics, etc.
Property is classified based on actual use and may not correspond to any city or county zoning criteria. The main classifications of property in Moffat County are residential, commercial/industrial, agricultural, natural resources and state assessed (public utilities). Valuation methodology varies for the different classifications of property.
The agricultural land classification is reserved for land that is being used as a farm or ranch, either by the property owner or through lease agreement. A farm is defined as a parcel of land that is used to produce agricultural products that originate from the land’s productivity in order to derive monetary profit (crops have been cultivated, harvested and sold). A ranch is defined as a parcel of land used for grazing livestock for the purpose of monetary profit. The key concept in both situations is that the land is supporting the crops or the livestock. Any animal production (such as pigs or chickens) that is not sustainable by the land itself is not considered agriculture. In addition, the grazing of horses does not constitute agricultural use unless they are used for food, breeding, draft or profit. Trespass grazing cannot qualify a parcel as agricultural.
The property owner bears the burden of proof to establish agricultural use/classification by providing supporting documentation to the Assessor’s Office and allowing a site inspection. The Assessor may require you complete and return an Agricultural Land Classification Questionnaire as well as provide copies of documents such as IRS form 1010F, leases, brand inspections, contracts with the Farm Service Agency, to name a few.
If not previously assessed as agricultural land, by law there must be three consecutive years of documented agricultural production in order for the Assessor to change the classification.
Additional information on agricultural classification and valuation can be found here.
Real property (land and buildings) is reappraised by the Assessor’s Office every two years in odd numbered years. The valuation placed on a property in a reappraisal year is generally used for the intervening year also unless there is some change in the classification or property characteristics.
Natural resources, personal property and state assessed property are re-valued every year.