There are many fake farms in New Jersey. A state that has very high property taxes should not encourage this and yet there are individuals who do not pay the full amount because they claim they are farms when in reality they are not.
How do they do it? Well it seems back in 1964 Governor Hughs and the legislature created the Farmland Assessment Act, “To qualify for the tax assessment reduction, a landowner must have no less than five acres of farmland actively devoted to an agricultural or horticultural use for the two years immediately preceding the tax year being applied for and meet specific minimum gross income requirements based on the productivity of the land.”
Furthermore, “According to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, here are the two biggest requirements you need to claim the following: Must own five, contiguous acres of land actively devoted to an agricultural or horticultural use. And have Gross sales of products from the land must average at least $1,000 per year for the first five acres, plus an average of $5 per acre for each (additional) acre.”
So it is not hard to do if you are rich already and that is exactly what keeps happening. President Trump has a Goat Farm and the head of NJ Transit, Kevin Corbett, also has five acres that he claims as farmland.
What the act is supposed to do is help prevent the mass extinction of farms in New Jersey, not give property tax breaks to the very well off. It is time the legislature revisits this badly written piece of legislation so the very rich can not take unfair advantage of a tax break that is meant to encourage farming.
It is not right that everyone else has to pay the full property tax and yet the very rich get property tax breaks for what amounts to fake farming.
That is my opinion- Jumpin Jersey Mike