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Departments » Land & Water Conservation
Farmland Preservation Program

Wisconsin provides tax credits to farmers through both the Farmland Preservation Program and the Farmland Tax Relief Program. The Farmland Preservation Program, established in 1977, seeks to conserve Wisconsin farmland and provide tax relief. The Farmland Tax Relief Credit was created in 1989 to provide additional tax relief to owners of farmland. Farmland owners may be eligible to claim both credits.

In 2008, approximately $27.5 million was distributed to Wisconsin farmers through these two programs. About 18,000 farmers received $11.4 million of Farmland Preservation Credits and approximately 52,200 farmers received Farmland Tax Relief Credits totaling $16.1 million. Both credits are paid as an offset to state income tax or as a cash refund if the credits exceed income tax due. The sum of the credits may not exceed 95% of the annual property taxes on a claimant's farm.

The goals of the Farmland Preservation Credit Program are twofold:
  1. to preserve Wisconsin farmland by means of local land use planning and soil conservation practices, and
  2. to provide property tax relief to farmland owners.
To qualify for the credit, farmland must be 35 acres or more and zoned for exclusive agricultural use or be subject to a preservation agreement between the farmland owner and the state. In addition, all participants must comply with soil and water conservation standards set by the state Land Conservation Board. The average Farmland Preservation Credit paid in 2008 (tax year 2007) average $633 and equaled 17.5% of the average claimant's property tax bill. Approximately 35% of farm owners with 35 acres or more claimed Farmland Preservation Credits in 2008.

For questions regarding Farmland Preservation in Brown County contact our office at (920)391-4620.
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