There are numerous situations where an agricultural property can obtain the homestead classification. Below are some of the more common situations in which agricultural homestead are granted.
First of all, an agricultural homestead is agricultural land that is occupied and used as a homestead by its owner, who must be a Minnesota resident. The agricultural property is described as being real estate used for farming or capable of being used for farming in this state (MS 500.24, subd. 2(g)).
Agricultural land means contiguous acreage of 10 acres or more, used during the preceding year for agricultural purposes. "Agricultural purposes" means the raising or cultivation of agricultural products or enrollment in Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) program under sections 103F.501 to 103F.535 or the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) as contained in the Public Law Number 99-198 (PDF).
Agricultural classification for property is determined excluding the house, garage and immediately surrounding one acre of land, and shall not be based upon the market value of any residential structures on the parcel or contiguous parcels under the same ownership (MS 273.13, subd.23).
Agricultural property can receive homestead if it is occupied, used as a homestead by the owner, and if the owner is a Minnesota resident. (MS 273.124, subd 1(a)).
Homestead for Minnesota Residents
Agricultural property can receive homestead if a qualifying relative occupies the property as a homestead, the owner is a Minnesota resident, the owner doesn't claim another agricultural homestead in Minnesota, and there is only one relative agricultural homestead per family. (MS 273.124, subd. 1(d)).
A qualifying relative for agricultural property is a parent, stepparent, child, stepchild, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle aunt, nephew or niece of the owner or spouse of the owner. Both the owner and qualifying relative must be Minnesota residents.
Agricultural property can receive homestead if the owner, owner's spouse, or child of the owner or owner's spouse is actively farming the agricultural property either on their own behalf or on behalf of an authorized entity of which they are a qualified person, and the agricultural parcel is at least 40 acres, both the owner and the person actively farming are Minnesota residents, neither the owner nor the owner's spouse claims another agricultural homestead in Minnesota, and neither the owner nor the person actively farming lives further than four cities or townships from the property. (MS 273.124, subd. 14(b)).
Agricultural property occupied by the owner and leased to an authorized entity of which the owner is a qualified person is eligible for homestead if the owner is a Minnesota resident. (MS 273.124, subd. 1(a)).
All homestead applications must be returned to the assessor's office by December 31st. There are other instances where agricultural homestead can be applied. We encourage you to discuss your situation with the assessor's office to see if you qualify.
Stop by the assessor's office located in the Watonwan County Courthouse at:
710 Second Avenue S
St. James, MN 56081