The Open Space Taxation Act of 1970 allows property owners to have their farm and agricultural land, timber land, or open space land valued at their "current use" rather than at their highest and best use. The Assessor maintains two values for each parcel that is classified in the current use program. The first is the value that would be placed on the land if it was not so classified. This is commonly referred to as the "fair market value." The second is the current use land value based on its present use, and there is a statutory process for determining the value of lands in the current use program. Land classified in the current use program benefits from a reduced valuation and lower taxes.
A property owner may apply for current use assessment under the open space law, or apply for continuation of current use assessment if acquiring property already so classified. Application forms are available from the County Assessor Office. The owner of land in current use classification must continue to meet the criteria established for qualification, or the Assessor may remove the land from the current use classification. Contact the Asotin County Assessor Office for more information, or to obtain forms.
The Assessor has statutory authority to require the owner of land classified in the current use program to submit data regarding the use of the land, productivity of crops, income and expense data, and other similar information regarding continued eligibility. If land is withdrawn from the current use classification, it is subject to an additional tax equal to the difference between the amount of tax paid under the current use classification and the tax that would have been paid at true and fair value for the last seven years, plus interest and penalties.