Agricultural Classification

Scott County Agricultural Classification Guidelines

For assessment purposes, four key phrases from Iowa law are used when determining if a property qualifies for agricultural classification, and in this order:

1. Present Use

  • Present use of the property as of January 1 (of the assessment year).

2. Primary/Principle Use

  1. The “primary” use of the property is how the property will be assessed (classified & valued) for taxation purposes. 
  2. For properties with multiple uses, like agricultural and residential on the same property, the “primary” use of the property will be used for assessment purposes. 
  3. The Assessor will use best judgment and consider many facts in making this determination, and on a case-by-case basis. 
  4. To be considered as primarily agricultural, ag “production” must be the primary or principal use of the property. 
  5. Agricultural production includes: 
    • The raising and harvesting of
      • Crops
      • Forest trees
      • Fruit trees
    • The rearing, feeding, and managing of
      • Livestock
    • Horticulture
    • Ag “can” also include wood, waste and pasture land, but only if that land is held or operated in conjunction with other “primarily” ag production real estate. 
      • This means, ag production real estate must first be the primary use of the property before these non-ag-production types of real estate can also be included for ag for assessment purposes.  

3. Being used “in good faith” for agricultural (production) purposes 

  • The property must be used for ag production in “good faith” and not just to lower property taxes or other reasons. 

4. All for an intended profit 

  • All of the ag production activity on the property, must be done with the intent to be profitable from the activity.

For complete Iowa Admin code 701.71 Classification of Real estate