42.20.601    DEFINITIONS

The following definitions apply to this subchapter:

(1) "Agricultural application" means department form AB-3 used by taxpayers to request agricultural classification of land.

(2) "Agricultural products produced by the land" means crops or forage raised directly in the land's soil and used to support livestock. "Agricultural products produced by the land" does not mean land that is used as a "platform" for agricultural activities. Examples of agricultural activities that do not meet the definition "agricultural products produced by the land" are the feeding of livestock from external sources that allow stocking rates to exceed the carrying capacity or crops produced in potted soil that are not grown directly in the land's soil.

(3) "Ancillary improvements" means improvements necessary for the production and storage of raw agricultural commodities. These improvements do not include improvements that are used to process, treat, or package raw agricultural commodities into a value-added product, or improvements designed to accommodate and serve the public.

(4) "Animal unit" means a cow/calf pair, including a mature cow of approximately 1,200 pounds and a calf as old as 6 months, or their equivalent.

(5) "Animal unit month" means one animal unit grazing for one month. One animal unit month represents the amount of forage needed to properly nourish one animal unit for one month without injurious effect to vegetation on the land.

(6) "Biological control insect" means an insect that is used to reduce or eliminate noxious weeds by interference with the weed's ecology.

(7) "Bona fide agricultural operation" means an agricultural enterprise in which the land actually produces agricultural crops defined in 15-1-101, MCA, that directly contribute agricultural income to a functional agricultural business.

(8) "Carrying capacity" means the amount of grazing that a pasture will sustain without injurious effect to vegetative growth due to the quality of the soil and the environment where it occurs.

(9) "Classification" is the agricultural use of the land. The department classifies agricultural land into one of five agricultural use classes. The department's five agricultural uses are described in ARM 42.20.660 through 42.20.680.

(10) "Conservation reserve program (CRP)" means a federal farm program that pays agricultural landowners to remove land from crop production on highly erodible soils for a specified period of time.

(11) "Contiguous parcels of land" means separately described parcels of land under one ownership that physically touch one another or would have touched one another were the acreages not separated by deeded roads and highways, navigable rivers and streams, railroad lines, or federal or state land that is leased from the federal or state government by the taxpayer whose land is physically touching the federal or state land.

(12) "Denied access or DA land" is a term used by the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to describe lands where they were prohibited from conducting a soil survey by the owner of the land.

(13) "Domestic grazing land" means all lands devoted to the production of forage from introduced plants that are not part of the original flora of an area that are harvested directly by grazing animals.

(14) "Effectively prohibit" means to result in the permanent cessation of a bona fide agricultural operation.

(15) "Income from agricultural production" means the gross amount of income received from the sale of food, feed, fiber commodities, livestock, poultry, bees, biological control insects, fruits, vegetables, and also includes sod, ornamental, nursery, and horticultural crops that are raised, grown, or produced for commercial purposes, income from farm rental, the sale of draft, breeding, dairy, or sporting livestock, the share of partnership or family corporation gross income received from a farming or ranching business entity, or the taxpayer's share of distributable income from an estate or trust involved in an agricultural business. When the income from agricultural production is used to qualify land for agricultural classification, it must be reportable income for income tax purposes.

(a) Wages received as a farm employee or wages received from a farm corporation are not gross income from farming.

(b) A bona fide agricultural operation may combine the income of more than one parcel to meet the income requirements. The parcels must be dependent upon each other in the agricultural operation as a whole.

(16) "Land use" means land placed into a certain type of service or utilization, such as the agricultural uses described in ARM 42.20.660 through 42.20.680.

(17) "Lease" means an agreement transferring certain rights to a lessee (tenant), including possession, while still allowing the lessor (landlord) to retain fee ownership.

(18) "Livestock" as defined in 15-1-101, MCA, means cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses, mules, asses, llamas, alpacas, bison, ostriches, rheas, emus, and domestic ungulates.

(19) "Native grazing land" means all lands devoted to the production of forage from native or naturalized plants that are harvested directly by grazing animals.

(20) "Noncontiguous parcels of land" means parcels of land under one ownership that are physically separated from one another by land in a different ownership other than deeded roads and highways, navigable rivers and streams, railroad lines, or federal or state land that is leased from the federal or state government by the taxpayer whose land is physically touching the federal or state land.

(21) "Nonqualified agricultural land" means parcels of land of 20 acres or more but less than 160 acres under one ownership that are not eligible for valuation, assessment, and taxation as agricultural land under 15-7-202(1), MCA.

(22) "Not completed or NOTCOM land" is a term used by the Natural Resource Conservation Service to describe lands where they have not completed a soil survey or have completed the soil survey but the results have not been published for public use.

(23) "Owner" means that the applicant and owner of record are the same individual, corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or trust.

(24) "Parcel" means a tract or plot of land distinguishable by ownership boundaries.

(25) "Pertinent" means scientific, verifiable information relating directly to a specific geographical area that could affect the productive capacity of the land.

(26) "Poultry" means domesticated birds raised for eggs, meat, or other commercially marketable products that are not included in the definition of livestock as described in 15-1-101, MCA.

(27) "Productive capacity or productivity" means the ability of a soil to produce crops or forage under the environment where it occurs and under a specified system of management. The productive capacity can change over time due to changes in soil fertility or more efficient farming practices and equipment.

(28) "Productive capacity value and productivity value" are synonymous and interchangeable terms for the per-acre value of the agricultural land based on its productive capacity. The productive capacity value is determined using the formula described in 15-7-201, MCA, and is further identified in ARM 42.20.660, 42.20.665, 42.20.670, 42.20.675, and 42.20.680.

(29) "Residence" means all conventionally constructed homes, as well as all mobile homes and manufactured housing, that may serve as living quarters for one or more individuals or a family. The occupancy of the residence shall be irrelevant.

(30) "Residential" means land used for the purpose of family housing.

(31) "Residential use only" means land that allows buildings for the purpose of family housing and restricts commercial or industrial buildings.

(32) "Site-specific" means data associated within a defined geographic area, usually composed of similarly situated parcels of land characterized by reoccurring patterns of soils, geology, climate, water resources, and land use. Site-specific data may refer to one continuous area or several separate nearby areas. Site-specific data rarely references an individual ownership or an individual parcel of land.

(33) "Sole proprietorship" for the purposes of qualifying land for agricultural assessment and taxation under the provisions of 15-7-202, MCA, and ARM 42.20.625, means an ownership of agricultural land in the name of one or more individuals which can be any of the following: grandparent(s), parent(s), spouse, sibling(s), children, stepchildren, aunt(s), uncle(s) and first generation cousin(s).

(34) "Under one ownership" means one party owns two or more parcels of land when the title is in the party's name or names; the party has received title in the parcels by a transferring instrument such as a deed, contract for deed, or judgment; and the party has the present right to possess and use the parcels.


History: 15-7-111, MCA; IMP, 15-1-101, 15-6-133, 15-7-201, 15-7-202, MCA; NEW, 2003 MAR p. 1888, Eff. 8/29/03; AMD, 2004 MAR p. 3160, Eff. 12/17/04; AMD, 2007 MAR p. 119, Eff. 12/22/06; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 549, Eff. 2/26/10; AMD, 2014 MAR p. 2994, Eff. 12/12/14; AMD, 2016 MAR p. 2065, Eff. 1/1/17.