Real Estate Exemption Information

Public Act 490

Public Act 490 is §12-107a – 107f of the Connecticut General Statutes. It was implemented to promote agriculture, and to keep Connecticut’s forested lands undeveloped. It is a preferential treatment for lands. It is a lower assessment on the land used as farm land, forest land or open space.

Penalty

There is a penalty for not keeping land under 490 for ten years. 

A conveyance tax will be due if the land is sold or the use changes within ten years.

Applications   

The application period for Public Act 490 is annually from September 1st through October 31 for farm and open space classification, and October 1st for forest classification. Applications may be downloaded from this website - see Forms M-29, M-39 and M-30.

Requirements for Classification

Farm:

  • Property must be in Putnam
  • Property must be used for agriculture on October 1.
  • There is no specific acreage of land required under this classification, however, the Assessor must consider the actual use, acreage, portions used agriculturally, productivity, income derived from farming, and equipment used when determining land as farmland. 
  • Farmland is valued upon the acreage and uses.
  • 490 remains on the property for as long as it is owned by the same entity.
  • A conveyance tax is due if property is sold or the use changes, and is calculated from the date of ownership.

Forest:

  • Property must be in Putnam.
  • Requirement are at least 25 acres, of which two or more parcels must be at least 10 acres each.
  • Application process is two steps:
    1. Application must be submitted to the State of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Forestry Division. The application must include three sets of maps with acreage delineated for forest land, and be no larger than 17”x 22”. It must include a written report by a certified forester. It must be signed by all legal owners of the property. It must also be signed by the Assessor, agreeing to the amount of acreage located in Putnam. 
    2. After receiving a State of Connecticut Forest Certificate, a 490 application (see Form M-39 on this website) must be received by the Assessor by October 1.
  • 490 remains on the property for as long as it is owned by the same entity.
  • A conveyance tax is due if property is sold or the use changes, land is calculated from the date of ownership.

Open Space:

  • Property must be in Putnam.
  • Open Space requires at least 5 acres of vacant land to qualify. (If the property has a dwelling on it, the requirement is 7 acres of land.) 
  • 490 remains on the property for as long as it is owned by the same entity.
  • A conveyance tax is due if property is sold or the use changes, and is calculated from the date of application, not the date of ownership.

Elderly and Totally Disabled Homeowner Credits Program

A tax relief program for elderly and totally disabled persons who meet certain income guidelines is available. This relief takes the form of a credit that appears on the taxpayer’s real estate tax bill in July. The amount of the credit is based upon income.

This program is applied for between February 1st through May 15th. Tax credits can range between 10% and 50%, depending on income and marital status.

Requirements

  • Applicants must be over the age of 65 or be totally disabled and receiving Social Security Benefits. 
  • Must be a resident of Putnam.
  • Must meet the program’s income guidelines set forth by the State of Connecticut.
  • Must be either the record owner of, or hold life use in the real property in which he resides, both on October 1st assessment date and at the time of making application.
  • Applications and annual income limits are available in the Assessor’s Office.
  • A sample copy of this application is found on this website – see Form M-35H.

Related Pages: