Property Tax Reduction and The Greenbelt Program

A property tax abatement is a reduction in property taxes, either short term or long term, which would otherwise be payable on the value of a property. Cities and states provide tax abatements for a variety of reasons.

Southeastern Forest Management can assist a landowner seeking a tax abatement by providing accurate, relevant advice, developing an approved management plan, completing the sometimes-onerous application process, and monitoring for compliance.To protect natural resources and limit real estate development, some states have enacted current use programs to provide property owners with tax savings in exchange for limiting the property’s use to passive activities such as farming, recreation, or timber harvesting.

Forested land enrolled in a state’s current use program is often appraised for property taxes based on the value for forestry instead of on the fair market value. Forestland appraised under current use programs will receive a special assessment as long as it is actively managed.

The Greenbelt program exists in Tennessee for agricultural land, forest land and open spaces. It is designed to encourage continued production of valuable food and fiber; prevent loss of family farms due to higher taxes based on speculation values rather than use values and provide relief from urban sprawl and green spaces for enjoyment of people who would not normally have access to such areas. (Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA), Title 67, Chapter 5, Part 10) In order to qualify, forested land must be: A tract of at least 15 acres engaged in growing trees under a sound program of sustained yield management.

In addition, a forest management plan written by a forester must accompany the Greenbelt application when submitted to the county property assessor. There are limitations and restrictions to this program, but Southeastern Forest Management has a great deal of experience with the program and can provide the information and management plan to help get properties into the Greenbelt Program.

Contact Us

300 Windrock Park Lane
Oliver Springs, TN 37840
(865) 435-7158