Farm, Open Space and Tree Growth Programs

Farm and Open Space Valuation

Farm and Open Space

(Title 36, M.R.S.A. Sections 1101-1121 as amended by PL 195, c.603)

Farm land under this statute means land registered for long-term use in agricultural production.

Valuation - The assessor establishes the 100% valuation per acre on a current use basis, i.e. reflecting their value as agricultural land, not as developable land.

Requirements - At least one of the applicant's tracts must be 5 contiguous acres which produces a gross income of at least $2000 per year in one of the two or three of the five calendar years preceding the date of application. By April 1 of each fifth year, the owner must file an income report of the gross agricultural income derived from the subject property.

Withdrawal - Should the owner change the use of part or all of the property, a substantial penalty is assessed.

Open space land under this statute means registered land, the preservation or restriction of the use of which provides a defined public benefit

Valuation - Either market value of open space land or an alternative percentage-based method is used. In the percentage method, a reduction from market value is granted for each restriction placed on the subject property:

  • Ordinary open space land -20%
  • Permanently protected -30%
  • Forever wild -20%
  • Public access -25%

In no case can the land be valued at less than the prevailing tree growth valuation.

Requirements - A public benefit must be obtained in one or more of the following areas:

  1. Conserving scenic resources
  2. Enhancing public recreation opportunities
  3. Promoting game management
  4. Preserving wildlife or wildlife habitat

Withdrawal - Should the owner change the use of part or all of the property, a substantial penalty is assessed.

Click the links below to download the application forms:


Tree Growth

This program provides a benefit for owners of at least ten acres of forested land used for commercial harvesting. A forest management and harvest plan must be prepared and a sworn statement to that effect submitted with the application. Applications must include a map of the parcel indicating the forest type breakdown as well as all other areas to be excluded from the tree growth program.

Each year, the State Tax Assessor determines the valuation per acre for each forest type by county. For a list of current Tree Growth rates, see Rule 202 (PDF).

If forest land no longer meets the criteria of eligibility or the landowner opts to withdraw from the tree growth program, a penalty will be assessed. Depending upon the length of time that the parcel has been enrolled, the penalty is between 20% and 30% of the difference between the 100% Tree Growth value and the fair market value of the land.

See Bulletin 19 (PDF) (Maine Tree Growth Tax Law) and 36 M.R.S. §§ 571 - 584 (Tree Growth Tax Law).

Application for Maine Tree Growth Tax Law Program (PDF)