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Thread: Current use question

  1. #1
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    Northeast section of Northwest kingdom Vermont
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    Default Current use question

    I contacted my local town clerk and was notified that if I wanted to building an out building on my property that I could be exempted from having to secure and building permit and from being taxed if I build 100 square foot or less. I then realized I am currently enrolled for Current Use and should be exempted from taxes and a permit?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    poultney vermont
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shirefisher View Post
    I contacted my local town clerk and was notified that if I wanted to building an out building on my property that I could be exempted from having to secure and building permit and from being taxed if I build 100 square foot or less. I then realized I am currently enrolled for Current Use and should be exempted from taxes and a permit?
    Most agricultural, which sugaring is, is taxed differently or if at all but I am not sure the exact logistics there every town or county may be different, with the current use I'm sure you'd be exempt from the taxes. I do know when I built my new sugar House there was no building permit fee as it was agricultural.

    As far as I know, 100 square foot or less which is 10 by 10, typically is untaxable regardless of the use. If the building is not sitting on concrete it is I believe deemed as movable or temporary and not taxable. Anything going underneath grade level indicates a stationary more permanent building, concrete footings or Piers of any sort, at least that's the last way I understood it, can be hard to keep up with all at times.
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  3. #3
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    Apr 2015
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    Default

    I went through this a few years ago when we built the tank/vacuum building (which is 22x18 or something) I seem to recall that because it was agricultural we didn't need to withdraw the building location from current use (which was good because this land has been in current use for many years and paying that back retroactively would have been expensive), but ironically we are taxed on the building because we dont make at least 50% of our income from agriculture.
    Like bliss said, 10x10 shouldn't matter anyway no matter what the use.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    Middlesex, Vermont
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    Default

    Best to get a copy of your zoning laws or better yet, contact the zoning administrator directly. Let them know what your plans are. I know in Middlesex the 100 sq ft rule applies as well but couldn’t tell you beyond that.


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    Paul Cerminara
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  5. #5
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    Dec 2002
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    Loudon NH
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    Default

    If you don't have one already, get a copy of VT's current use laws and study it. In NH I can't have any buildings on land that is in current use. If I want to put a building on current use land I have to take the footprint of the building and 6' around it out of current use. The law states that the 6' area is for maintenance purposes.

    The town of Loudon didn't know the laws as well as they thought they did. They were trying to make me take more land out of current use than I legally had to when I built my house and sugar house.
    Russ

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Essex VT
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    GiddingsHill,

    I think that you should contact the VT Tax Dept about being taxed on the buildings because you don't make 50% of your income from agriculture. I have been in the current use program since 2005 and made a lot more money in my real job than I ever made sugaring. I have never heard of the 50% of your income rule related to Current Use and taxing your agriculture buildings. If your property is used for agriculture or forestry purposes as required under the Current Use Law, all forestry and agriculture (Maple sugaring) buildings are exempt from taxes and building permit requirements (except property line set backs). Your land in current use is taxed at about 4% of its real appraised land valve. My land tax would be about $1,900. instead of $83. if the land was not in current use. In Vermont, you do not need State permission to build forestry or agriculture related buildings on land enrolled in current use.

    Joe
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    Middlesex, Vermont
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    JoeJ,
    I wish you had not been so vague with your answer! Haha!

    I guess that about clears that up!


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    Paul Cerminara
    2019 - First season ever
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    -75 taps, all on traditional buckets and drops into 5 gallon buckets
    -Goal: 3 gallons
    -Season Total: 7.5 gallons - pulled taps after running out of firewood and time
    -Fear: Becoming a member of MT.com and getting bit

  8. #8
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    Apr 2009
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    Bristol, VT
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    Default

    The 50% income rule applies mainly to agricultural use, not forestry use. So if you have forestland enrolled with a management plan, there is no income requirement. If you have ag. land enrolled, then that is a different story. This is mainly to prevent developers and wealthy land owners from abusing the current use program as they have for years

    Back to the op's questions. If you are enrolled in current use, then yes you should not have to pay a permit fee or have the building added to your appraised value. Your town may still have zoning requirements and what not that you may want to be aware of, but you shouldn't have issue putting up a sugar house.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    Bakersfield, VT
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    Default

    Thanks JoeJ and General Stark,
    Sounds like something I should look into. This was a few years ago now but I do specifically remember the state tax dept lady I was speaking with informing me I would need to prove 50% of my income was from agriculture. Perhaps she was thinking of designating some of the land as agricultural and not forestland? I really cannot remember anymore. To add to the agricultural/forestry use confusion my "real" job is as a logging contractor. we purchased an adjacent woodlot this month where i hope to get another 3500 or so taps and build another pump house/shop. sounds like the sap collecting portion of that building should at least be exempt but the shop part could be considered commercial since 90% of my logging activity is contract work and "off the farm" so to speak. There's all manner of grey area around what is taxable and what isn't around "forestry" equipment and registration. when I used to do a lot of firewood delivery I learned i could run AG plates to deliver wood from my own property but would need to go the full commercial route (DOT #'s) if the wood came from a job. On that end of things, enforcement on the roads has gotten pretty serious in the last few years. Hauling sap is a whole different story though
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    vermont
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    223

    Default

    In our town we were told we had to apply for a permit through the ag department to build a sugarhouse. Anyone else ever hear that?

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