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Thread: Taxes and the Sugar Bush

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Eau Claire, WI
    Posts
    62

    Default Taxes and the Sugar Bush

    Is there any way to put the sugar bush into agriculture (ag) land tax instead of recreation use? If you can, is there any limiting factors such as you have to be making syrup for commercial sale and if so how much do you need to sell to qualify? Or can you just say your are making sugar for your own consumption and still qualify.
    Also, we have about 100 acres of maples and are currently tapping only about 20 acres, with app 300 taps. Is there a minimum amount of taps per acre for it the land to be considered ag as well if we wanted to expand?

    We are especially looking for info on Wisconsin specific tax codes. But would be interested in how/if anyone is doing this in other states which we can use as examples.

    Thank You in advance and

    May the sweet smell of success be lots of maple syrup in your pans.

    Joe
    Eau Claire, WI (sugar bush located in Siren, WI)
    20"x66" Dallaire
    75 taps in '09
    200 taps in '10
    250 taps '11 (this is enough)
    The sweet smell of success is just sap boiling.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Fence, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10

    Default

    In Wisconsin you have to be making syrup for commercial sale, selling the sap to a commercial producer or renting your land to a commercial producer. As for the how much you need to sell to qualify, starting out you might have to show your sales receipts, licenses and any other records to your local assessor to prove you qualify. The rule of thumb for the minimum amount of taps is 25 taps per acre, but that number is flexible with the assessor. So if you have 300 taps, with the 25 tap per acre minimum, only 12 acres would qualify as ag land tax.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    804

    Default

    Agreed with everything above except that you can go all the way down to 20 taps for acre if it is substandard maple density. The assessor will want to see that all the tapable trees are tapped. Also, the first year you tap is not deductable.
    2013- custom made 2x7 intensofire 1000 bags

    https://www.facebook.com/mayerlsmaplesyrup

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Canaan, Vermont
    Posts
    422

    Default

    We have our 329 acres in the Current Use program (Agricultural Use - Maple producer). Provides a major tax break for the landowners. Our sugarhouse is taxed (non-resident) so we end up paying a higher tax on the structure. Other states in New England have the Current Use program, not sure about out west.
    3x10 Leader Inferno Arch
    10,000+ Taps
    2 - 14 HP Indiana Vacuum pump
    Lapierre 1800gph RO
    2 - 25,000 tap Lapierre releasers
    3 - SS 1500 gallon tanks
    1 - SS 8,400 gallon tank

    adding 2-3,000 taps fall 2014

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    W. Wardsboro VT
    Posts
    50

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sjdoyon View Post
    We have our 329 acres in the Current Use program (Agricultural Use - Maple producer). Provides a major tax break for the landowners. Our sugarhouse is taxed (non-resident) so we end up paying a higher tax on the structure. Other states in New England have the Current Use program, not sure about out west.
    Also in Current Use -agriculture-and my sugar house is exempt from tax.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Derby Vermont
    Posts
    110

    Default

    sjdoyon and maple hill raise some very interesting points. I have heard of some listers in vt using the non-resident tax rate in taxing the sugarbush and the sugarhouse - Current Use does lower the appriased value; however, if you are a farmer there is no tax on the farm buildings which some classify the sugarhouse as.
    1100 taps on vacuum plus 125 buckets
    3 x 10 oil fired evaporator with pre-heater
    Springteck 300 R.O.
    Kubota L3350
    Understanding wife when it comes to sugaring

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Canaan, Vermont
    Posts
    422

    Default

    We would be tax free if at least 50% of our annual income was derived from the sale of maple syrup.
    3x10 Leader Inferno Arch
    10,000+ Taps
    2 - 14 HP Indiana Vacuum pump
    Lapierre 1800gph RO
    2 - 25,000 tap Lapierre releasers
    3 - SS 1500 gallon tanks
    1 - SS 8,400 gallon tank

    adding 2-3,000 taps fall 2014

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