What defines Agricultural Land?

Colorado law requires agricultural assessment only for land being used for the primary purpose of obtaining a monetary profit from farming or ranching. Colorado statutes define agricultural land for assessment purposes as one of the following:

  • A parcel of land, whether located in an incorporated or unincorporated area and despite the uses for which the land is zoned, that was used the previous two years and presently is used as a farm or ranch, or is being restored through conservation practices. The conservation practice must be a plan under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) or a plan approved by an appropriate conservation district. Agricultural land includes land under the residence if the occupant is integral to the agriculture endeavor and land under support buildings if those buildings are also part of the operation.
  • A parcel of land that has at least forty acres of forest land and that is subject to a forest management plan. The land must be used to produce tangible wood products that originate from the productivity of the land for the primary purpose of obtaining a monetary profit.
  • A parcel of land that consists of at least eighty acres, or less than eighty acres if the parcel does not contain any residential improvements, is subject to a perpetual conservation easement. The area is classified by the assessor as agricultural land at the time the easement was granted, if the easement was to a qualified organization, or if the easement was granted exclusively for conservation purposes, and if all current and contemplated future uses of the land are described in the conservation easement. This provision does not include any portion of such land that is actually used for nonagricultural commercial or residential purposes.
  • A parcel of land, used as a farm or ranch, that the owner has a decreed water rights or a final permit to appropriated ground water for purposes other than residential purposes, and the water appropriated under such right or permit is used for the production of agricultural or livestock products on the land.

Agricultural land is valued by capitalizing the landlord's net income into an indication of value using the capitalization rate established by law. The following documentation is treated and kept confidential by the Assessor's office: 

  • Profit and loss or financial statements
  • Account balance sheets
  • Copy of lease agreement or a receipt of lease payment
  • Form 1040 and 1040F or equivalent form from IRS return
  • Sales invoices of agricultural products or livestock
  • Brand inspection certificates

For details regarding the valuation of agricultural land, to obtain forest agricultural classification information, or to download a questionnaire to request agricultural classification for your property, please see the links below.

Additional Information