The Special Agricultural Homestead provision extends homestead status to property owners who do not live on their farm but actively farm their land or who have a spouse, child, or sibling who actively farms the land. Homestead status can result in lower property taxes than property that is not homesteaded.
You must file the Special Agricultural Homestead application every year by December 31st.
Do I Qualify for the Special Agricultural Homestead?
The agricultural property in question must be at least 40 acres. The person who owns the farm must be a Minnesota resident, not claim another Minnesota agricultural homestead and neither can their spouse, and live within four townships or cities of the property.
The person who is actively farming the land must be a Minnesota resident, live within four townships or cities of the property and own the land, or be the spouse of the owner, the child of the owner, the child of the owner's spouse, or a sibling. The relationship can be by marriage or blood.
The person who is actively farming must participate in the day-to-day labor, decision making, and management of the claimed homestead. They also must assume all or part of the financial risks of the farm. The person does not have to live on the farm.
What Do I Need to Apply?
The application forms are available from the assessor's office. Owners who have applied and qualified in the previous year will get a re-application mailed to them every year around August. You must also provide a copy of your 156 EZ from the Farm Service Agency as well as your farm number.
Lastly, you must provide a copy of your Schedule F form or equivalent partnership / corporation form that were filed with the federal income tax return of the person actively farming. An affidavit from your tax preparer or attorney verifying that you have filed the form can be substituted instead of the form. An application for Special Agricultural Homestead can be obtained by calling us at (507) 375-1205 or from the assessor's office at the Watonwan County Courthouse:
710 Second Avenue S
St. James, MN 56081