Introduction

A report on the progress that has been made by each county toward compliance with agricultural valuation using soil survey (as of July 2008) can now be viewed by clicking on the following link: 

www.ndaco.org/image/cache/Sara_hewson_compliance_report.pdf

BACKGROUND:

During the 2007 legislative session the North Dakota Legislature approved, and the Governor signed, House Bill 1303 (see link below), which changes the provisions of North Dakota law dealing with the valuation and assessment of agricultural lands. The changes became effective January 1, 2007.

Prior to the new law, a county that did not have soil survey information available could use "whatever previous assessment data is best suited to the purpose." Now, for taxable years beginning with 2007, the statute provides "the county director of tax equalization shall use soil type and soil classification data from detailed and general soil surveys to determine the relative value of lands for each assessment compared to the county average value."

The changes made by the 2007 mandate essentially require each county to assess the value of their agricultural land by assigning a fixed value to soil types contained within each land parcel, applying approved price modifiers where necessary, and, lastly, accounting for the actual use of the land. Counties that fail to implement this valuation method for any taxable year after 2009 will lose 5% of their state aid distribution each month until those counties have fully implemented the soil valuation process.

The process of changing to this new valuation method means either manually counting soil acres found within each parcel, or by creating a parcel layer in a digital or GIS environment (recommended) to determine the soil acres per parcel. Counties must also assign a value to each soil type based on what each soil type can produce (Productivity Index or PI).

 

NDACo COMMITMENT TO COUNTIES:

Recognizing the autonomy of each county to complete this changeover, North Dakota Association of Counties has committed to provide research, coordination, and training assistance to all North Dakota counties in their journey toward becoming compliant. We are partnering with the North Dakota State Tax Department, North Dakota Information Technology Department, and Natural Resources Conservation Service to strategize on the best way to guide and serve each county. Current projects include:

 * Researching the capabilities of various vendors for counties to choose from in digital land parcel development. Now Available! - See Vendor List in Resource Links.

* Developing a template Request for Proposals that each county may use in soliciting bids and assisting in proposal review. Now Available! 

 * Compiling a North Dakota Digital Parcel File Standard to ensure uniformity in data collection. Now Available! - View in Resource Links.

 * Performing liaison duties between counties and various governing agencies, acting in the best interest of the counties. 

 * Defining the Schedule of Modifiers and providing example of how counties throughout the state are applying them to their valuation process.  Now Available! See Guide to Assessing Agricultural Land in North Dakota  www.nd.gov/tax/property/pubs/aglandvaluationguideline.pdf 

* Monitoring county progress and any challenges they are facing in order to streamline an action plan to assist them.

 * Developing training opportunities for counties and tax personnel related to implementation, compliance and ongoing maintenance of an agricultural valuation system.

 * Developing helpful tools aimed at assisting county implementation and compliance, i.e. establishing a county soils committee, records maintenance tips, how to assign value using soil productivity, considering land use in the valuation process, etc. Now Available! See Guide to Assessing Agricultural Land in North Dakota  www.nd.gov/tax/property/pubs/aglandvaluationguideline.pdf 

Please visit this site often to look for the most current information and helpful links we have gathered as they become available.

 

Vendors: Please click on the link on the left for vendor Statement of Interest and Request for Information.

Links:

HB 1303

Frequently Asked Questions

Resource Links

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