CAUV Information

The Current Agricultural Use Valuation program provides a substantial reduction in the valuation of land that is exclusively dedicated to agricultural production.

There is a fee of $25 for initial applications. All initial applications for CAUV must be filed prior to the first Monday in March. Initial and renewal applications must be filed after January 1st. There is no charge for renewal applications for land already on the CAUV program. Renewal applications will be mailed to each owner annually and must be returned prior to the first Monday in March. Checks must be payable to Erie County Auditor Richard H. Jeffrey. They should be forwarded to: 247 Columbus Ave, Room 210 Sandusky, Ohio 44870.

Land that is removed from the CAUV program is charged a recoupment fee equal the tax savings for three years prior that resulted from participation in the CAUV valuation versus market valuation outside of the program.

Agricultural District brochure

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all farms in Ohio, which are used exclusively for agricultural purposes, eligible to be valued on the land's current agricultural use value? 
Yes, if they contain 10 acres or more exclusive of any homesite. Those under 10 acres can qualify if the land has produced agricultural income for the past three years of at least $2,500 each year or should reasonably be expected to produce that much during the current year.

Will all farms automatically be valued on a CAUV basis?
No. Applications must be made each year to the Erie County Auditor's office.

What does an owner have to do to have farmland valued under the Current Agricultural Use Value program?
File an initial application with the County Auditor between the first Monday in January and the first Monday in March and pay a one-time application fee of $25. There is no annual renewal fee.

What qualifies as land "devoted exclusively to agricultural use"? 
Land is devoted to agricultural production when it is used for commercial apiculture, animal husbandry, poultry husbandry; the production for commercial purposes of field crops, tobacco, fruits, vegetables, timber, nursery stock, ornamental shrubs and trees, flowers or sod; or any combination of such husbandry or production.

Are there any other requirements?

  1. The land for which the application is made must have been used exclusively for agricultural production or devoted to and qualified for payments or other compensation under a land retirement or conservation program under an agreement with a federal agency for the three consecutive calendar years prior to the year in which application is made. Evidence must be shown on the application.
  2. If the total amount of land for which application is made is less than 10 acres, there is an additional requirement that the activities conducted on the land must have produced an average yearly gross income over the preceding 3 year period of at least $2,500 or that the land will produce a gross income of at least $2,500 during the year of application.
  3. Evidence of annual gross income may be satisfied by attaching to the application form a short statement stating the number of animals by species and anticipated market value, number of acres of crops to be grown, their expected yield and price per bushel or similar specific information.

Do you have to own a farm for three years before you can apply?
No. The farm must qualify not the owner.

How often is real estate appraised for tax assessment purposes?
Revaluations occur every six years, and subject to being "updated" every 3rd year between revaluations.

Is the taxable value the same as appraised value?
No. In Ohio, tax value, or tax assessed value, is 35% of the appraised market value.

How were farms valued before this law was enacted?
On the basis of estimated market value.

How does CAUV value differ from fair market value?
The fair market value approach depends upon the comparison of sales of similarly situated farms where the highest and best use sets the value. The CAUV method depends upon capitalizing the expected net income from farming based on the land's soil type.

Will some farms have lower appraised values using the CAUV?
Yes. The fair market value reflects what a buyer is willing to pay regardless of the farm's agricultural production capability.

Some land used exclusively for timber production has been taxed at a lower rate for many years. How does this affect the new act?
Woodland is not eligible for tax savings under both laws. An owner must choose one or the other. On parcels of 10 acres or more, timber qualifies for the CAUV program, meeting the commercial production test.

What are the liabilities if incorrect information is given on the CAUV Application? 
If you knowingly give false information on an application, you are guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor.

What happens if the land is converted to a non-qualifying use? 
Land that is removed from the CAUV program is charged a recoupment fee equal the tax savings for three years prior that resulted from participation in the CAUV valuation versus market valuation outside of the program.

What causes land to become subject to recoupment?
Failure to reapply for the CAUV program or a change in use occurs so that the land is no longer devoted exclusively to agricultural produce.

Do golf courses qualify under the CAUV?

Does raising race horses or saddle horses qualify?
Yes. This is a form of animal husbandry. However, a racetrack does not qualify.

Do greenhouses qualify?
Yes, as long as it meets the CAUV income requirements.

Do garden stores qualify?
No, because they do not PRODUCE an agricultural product; they are resellers.

Does aquaculture qualify?
Yes, agricultural production includes the raising of plants or animals such as fish or shellfish in or under the sea, lake, river or other body of water.

Does apiculture qualify?
Yes. The raising and care of bees qualifies.