Court ruling allows Arizona farmers to have land valued at lower tax

The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that farmers only need to submit an affidavit that they expect to make a profit someday in order to have their land classified as agricultural for tax purposes. / Photo Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star

By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services | Arizona Daily Star

The mere claim by a farmer or rancher of an intent to make a profit — someday — is enough to qualify the property for a tax break, the state Court of Appeals has ruled.

In a ruling released Tuesday, judges rejected arguments by Pinal County Assessor Douglas Wolf that landowners should have to provide more than a simple assertion of a reasonable expectation of a profit to have the property classified as agricultural.

Judge Kent Cattani, writing for the unanimous three-judge panel, said a 2012 law pushed through by ranching interests makes the affidavit sufficient.

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