Illinois, like many other States, assesses farmland based on its agricultural use value rather than its market value. Section 10-115 of the Property Tax Code provides for an "agricultural economic value". This value is based upon land use under average level management, relative productivity of soils, and the present worth of the net income accruing to the land from farm production.
In order to qualify for a special farmland assessment, Illinois law states the property in question must have been used as a farm for the previous two years. The statute defines farm as "any property used solely for the growing and harvesting of crops; for the feeding, breeding, and management of livestock; for dairying or for any other agricultural or horticultural use or combination thereof;... the keeping, raising and feeding of livestock or poultry,....fur farming. A farmland assessment will not be given to property which is primarily used for residential purposes even though some farm products may be grown or farm animals bred or fed on the property incidental to its primary use.
The assessment of real property, including farm property in Illinois, is the responsibility of your local county assessment officials. However by law, certain responsibilities have been assigned to the State of Illinois, particularly the Department of Revenue. For example, the DOR is required to calculate soil productivity index use-value figures and certify them to county officials each year. These officials then apply the figures to the identified soil types on individual farms or parcels of farmland in order to establish an assessment.
For more information on the Farmland Assessment Law, contact the Chief County Assessment Office.