Present Use Value PUV Program – a great way to reduce Real Estate Taxes on Large Land and Acreage in Murphy NC and Cherokee County NC

When it comes to acreage tracts and land in Murphy NC, I must admit Cherokee County has great tax rates! It’s nice to live in an area where taxes are affordable and reasonable. However, it’s always nice to be able to lower your tax bill! And if you have a larger tract of land, you can lower a good tax bill to an extremely great tax bill.

Cherokee County NC, like many other counties in North Carolina, have access to a program called Present Use Value, or PUV. It is NOT designed to be a program just to drop your taxes. It provides a benefit to you (lower taxes) for sound management of your property. That is done by creating a forestry plan, etc. and properly executing it on your property. It’s truly a win-win all around.

There are several variations of the program with different requirements for each. Here are the basic requirements to be eligible for each PUV program:

  • Agriculture/Aquaculture
    • You must own at least 10 acres in the production of crops or livestock for commercial sale or 5 acres in production of aquatic species or have more than 20,000 pounds of aquatic product for commercial sale.
    • Show an average gross income of $1,000 from the preceding three year period must be shown from the sale of the products produced from the land
    • If you have more than one farmed tract, only one of the tracts (the parent tract) is subject to the minimum size and income requirements.
  • Horticulture
    • At least five acres in the production of fruits, vegetables, nursery or floral products for commercial sale.
    • You must have an average gross income of $1,000 from the preceding three year period must be shown from selling products produced from the land.
    • Christmas tree farms are part of the horticultural classification and must have at least five acres in production for commercial sale.
    • If you have more than one horticultural tract, only one of the tracts (parent tract) is subject to the minimum size and income requirements with the exception of Christmas tree farms.
  • Forestry
    • At least 20 acres in the production of forest products for commercial sale.
    • The forest land must have a written forest management plan from the NC Division of Forest Resources or a private forester and a copy of the plan on file with the Tax Administrator’s Office.
    • If you have more than one forestry tract, only one of the tracts (parent tract) is subject to the size requirements. Since income is only produced when timber is harvested, there is no yearly income requirement for forest land.
  • Wildlife
    • Tract of Land must be between 20-100 acres.
    • Must protect an animal species that lives on the land and is on the NC protected animal list or conserve a priority wildlife habitat.
    • You must have a written wildlife habitat conservation plan from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission and file it with the Tax Administrator’s Office

The present use value is based solely on being able to determine the property’s ability to produce an income, NOT the estimated market value of the land.

If you are eligible and/or considering applying, I highly recommend you contact the Cherokee County Tax Office at 828-837-2421. Since they ultimately have the final say in whether you can be in the program, it’s a great idea to contact them to get pointed in the right direction on your property or land you are considering buying.

Frequently asked Questions

 –What if there is a home on the land I want to put in the PUV program? This is generally not a problem. An acre of property that your home is on will be completely excluded and taxed according to current assessments. The rest of your property can be in the program.

What happens if I sell the property? The taxes that are “deferred” as a part of the program are reclaimed for the past three years. For example, let’s say your “normal” tax bill is $1,000 and the PUV program makes it $100 for a $900 savings each year. If you’re in the program for 10 years, that’s $9,000 worth of taxes you saved. If you sold it in year 10, you would be responsible for paying back the last 3 years of savings. So, it would be $900 x 3 = $2,700. Yet the other $6,300 is a total savings you DO NOT owe.

How much can I expect my tax bill to be in the program? I was told by a local forester who develops plans for parcels to enter the program that it averages about $1.50 per acre. For example, if you had 100 acres, your annual tax bill would be about $150.

Are you looking to buy acreage tracts of land? If so, we’re here for you! Land is always so unique that it can be challenging to search for, even online! Let us help. You can feel free to use our FREE Land MLS Search for Real Estate OR Fill out our CONTACT US Form and let us know what your “Wishlist” is for land, and we’ll do the leg work for you! If you have any other questions or concerns, always feel free to let us know.

John Poltrock – The Poltrock Team – REMAX of Murphy NC – – – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team