How are barns taxed on property taxes?

Believe or not Google was not helpful with this question. When you build a barn, part to house your horses and part to hold hay, how does it factor into your property taxes?

It depends on your state/county/municipality

For my area in NJ barns are taxed only on square footage at a very modest rate regardless of finishes. I think my barn is only about 2% of our property tax bill.

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It depends on the state and the town or county. Ask your local tax assessor; they actually are (generally) really nice and helpful people if you don’t come in already p—ed off.
In my town, in CT, my barn is a pretty minimal bit of the bill…but it was also built around 1840, so perhaps not that helpful. Sorry!


Oh how cool! Would love to have an old barn!

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Here we need at least 10 acres to get an ag exemption which we do not qualify for. Our barns are taxed as accessory buildings based upon the building permit’s value. I have had to take pictures and submit to the appraisal district as they had our barns as detached garages which are valued at twice the value of a barn

The insured value is just part of the coverage in the homeowners policy (10% of the primary which pretty much is correct for the two barns at $51,000)

Recently the appraisal district has started valuing the raw land in dollars per square foot ($1,50/sq/ft) rather using all single family lots at the same value

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You could check this on your local Tax Assessor’s website. Look up a few addresses that you know have barns and it will tell you.

Yes, check with your local Assessor. Each town/province is different.

I’ll second the suggestion to make sure you start the dialogue off on a positive note. I worked in the Assessor’s Office of a local municipality for five years and dealt with many upset taxpayers. I also saw many Assessors, it is a position with a fair bit of turnover (other orgs always seem to offer better pay/benefits/whatever) and got a clear understanding of the ‘general demographic’ of people in that role. Mostly older men and most of them the type to misread a taxpayer’s concerns/understandable upset over increasing taxes/living costs with an attack on their person.

In the town I worked for, barns were not assessed at a different rate than any other structure typically, unless the building was on land that was classified as farmland / 61A (agricultural exemption) which was very rare.

The very general model was cost to build (cost based approach) +/- depreciation, functional obsolescence, and improvements. If you live in an area where your tax rate per $1000 is high, you will see a noticeable increase in your taxes.

I can tell you what happened to us.
We needed a permit to build the barn, the permit includes a line item for cost.
The next year our assessed value went up by exactly that cost. When we questioned that increase we were told that we paid that much for the barn so it must be worth that much so that is what they are increasing our assessment by.

Thank goodness our fencing did not require a permit.

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Our assessors have “new building radar” and come knocking the minute you finish a project!

Around here they determine the value , probably by size and then have some formula they do where you are taxed on a % of that. Doesn’t matter what it is used for.

In any case it is too much.

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some are using current and historical Google Satellite images to compare questionable properties from time to time

On our place one can count the number of horses in the pastures from the image

I think they use drones too around here.

I own 15 acre property in Central Florida – and built a new barn, covered arena, and fenced turnout pastures about 5 years ago. There was an existing house on the property. I got an Agricultural Exemption for the pastures and so taxes are lower on that portion of the property. All the structures are taxed base on assessed value – the new barn, shed and covered arena at somewhat below actual construction cost, the house at the “going” market value assessment for the size house that it is.

I know of several private properties that went to great effort to camouflage structures to blend into the surroundings

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