Defiance County Seal and Logo

Current Agriculture Use Value (CAUV)

The County Auditor is responsible for administering the Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV) program and the Agricultural District Program. These two programs help agricultural producers keep taxes lower, deal with water and sewer assessments, nuisance lawsuits and eminent domain issues.

CAUV Program ensures that qualified agricultural producing properties are appraised based on production rates calculated by the State of Ohio, not on the land’s market value. To be eligible, properties must be devoted to commercial agricultural use. You must have crops, animals, and/or commercial timber on at least 10 acres, or 11 acres with home-site. You may have someone else farm your property. If you have less than 10 acres, or 11 acres with a home-site the properties must have the potential for producing an average yearly gross income, from agricultural production, of at least $2,500. The actual reduction in value is dependent upon the property’s soil type, region, slope and erosion factors. You must renew the application every year; there is no fee for the yearly renewal. Failure to renew your application will result in the loss of the value reduction and may result in recoupment of the previous three years of tax savings.

Agricultural District
The agricultural district is an area of qualified farmland that can be protected from many special assessments and some nuisance lawsuits. There is no fee for participation in the Ag District program. The qualifications are the same as the CAUV program. The program carries a five-year commitment and an expensive penalty can apply if the land is converted to a non-agricultural use before the expiration of the five-year term.

Important CAUV Dates and Deadlines

The first Monday in January is the first day to file initial, renewal, and late applications for the CAUV program. The initial application has a one-time fee of $25.00.

Make check payable to:
Jill Little, Defiance County Auditor, and return to 500 Second St, Ste 301, Defiance, OH, 43512.

There is no charge for the renewal application. All initial applications for CAUV must be filed prior to the first Monday in March.

On the second Tuesday in March, the Auditor determines whether all renewal and initial applications (for land already on the CAUV program) have been filed, and notifies by certified mail those current owners who failed to file the renewal or initial application by the deadline.

All renewal applications for land already on the CAUV program must be filed prior to the first Monday in March.

The first Monday in June is the last day for the Auditor to view land upon which applications have been filed to determine whether it is devoted exclusively to agricultural use.

CAUV Soil Types History Chart

Questions and Answers Relating to CAUV

What are some of the major advantages of the CAUV program?
It provides tax relief on agricultural land. If the tract of land contains woodland as well as cropland, the CAUV Law will often provide a greater tax relief than the Ohio Forest Tax Law because the law applies only to forest land acreage. In some special circumstances, land currently under the CAUV program can lay idle for up to one year prior to being subject to recoupment.

What are some of the disadvantages?
The owner must file annually to keep the exemption. If the land use changes to non-agricultural, or if the owner fails to reapply for the CAUV program, there is a recoupment penalty equal to the past three years' tax savings.

Are all farms in Ohio used exclusively for agricultural purposes eligible to be taxed on their current agricultural use value?
Yes. Tracts under 10 acres, or 11 acres with a home site can qualify only if the average gross yearly income is at least $2,500 over the past three years. Commercial timber can never qualify on less than 10 acres.

Will all farms be automatically reappraised on a CAUV basis?
No, applications must be made each year at the Defiance County Auditor's office.

What does an owner have to do to be taxed on the Current Agricultural Use Value?
File an application with the County Auditor on or after the first Monday in January and on or before the first Monday in March and pay a one-time application fee of $25.00. There is no renewal fee.

What qualifies as land devoted exclusively to agricultural use?
It qualifies if more than 10 acres, or 11 with a home site devoted exclusively to commercial production of field corps; tobacco, fruit, vegetables, timber, nursery stock, ornamental trees, sod or flowers; or if it qualified for a land retirement or conservation program under an agreement with the federal government.

If less than 10 acres, or 11 with a home site, it qualifies if, during the past three years, it produced a gross income of at least $2,500 each year or has an anticipated gross income of such amount during the current year.

Do you have to own a farm for three years before you can apply?
No. The farm has to qualify, not the owner. However, the crop history of the prior owner must be known.

How often is real estate appraised for tax assessment purpose?
Reappraisals are done every six years and a review and adjustment is possible in the third calendar year following the reappraisal.

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

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

How does CAUV appraisal differ from fair market value?
The fair market value approach depends upon the comparison of sales of similarly situated farms and where the highest and best use sets value. The CAUV method depends upon capitalizing the expected net income from farming. These values are assigned by the State by soil type every three years.

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.

Are the terms "tracts", "lots", and "parcels" used interchangeable?
For the purpose of this act they are.

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

What happens if the land is converted into a non-qualifying use?
The owner will lose the value reduction and will be required to pay the recoupment of the previous three years tax savings.

What causes one to become subject to recoupment?
Failure to reapply for CAUV tax appraisal or if a change in use occurs so that the land is not devoted exclusively to agricultural purposes.