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The Classification of Land as Forest Land (PA 490)

For a property owner to have their land classified as “forest land” for property tax purposes, they must

The purpose of the Qualified Forester’s Report is to determine whether the individual property meets the established standards for forest land. Only certified foresters who have received the appropriate training from the State Forester and met his qualifications may submit this report. 

For town-wide property tax re-evaluations occurring after October 1, 2015, the recommended PA 490 Forest Land value is $240/acre. This is a significant increase from the 2010 value which was $130/acre and the 2005 value of $190/acre. For further explanation, please see the memo to Connecticut Municipal Assessors and Certified Foresters qualified to evaluate land for Forest Land classification.

Statutory Definition of "Forest Land" 
(Connecticut General Statutes (CGS) Sec. 12-107b)

. . . any tract or tracts of land aggregating twenty-five acres or more in area bearing tree growth that conforms to the forest stocking, distribution and condition standards established by the State Forester . . .and consisting of . . .

(A) one tract of land of twenty-five or more contiguous acres, which acres may be in contiguous municipalities,

(B) two or more tracts of land aggregating twenty-five acres or more in which no single component tract shall consist of less than ten acres, or

(C) any tract of land which is contiguous to a tract owned by the same owner and has been classified as forest land pursuant to this section.

Parcels and acres classified as PA 490 land

as of October 29, 2019 with 88% of towns reporting

490 Classification Number of Parcels Number of Acres
Farm 11,960 231,076
Forest 10,674 434,273
Open Space 12,555 175,547
10 Mill 76 7,363
TOTAL 35,259 848,259
Application Forms:

Application to the Assessor for Classification of Land as Forest Land - PDFWord Form

Qualified Forester's Report Form - PDF, Word Form

Additional Information:

Examining Land for Classification as Forest Land - Guidance for Woodland Owners, Foresters and Assessors

Public Act 490 Fact Sheet

10 Mill Fact Sheet

Directory of Certified Forest Practitioners
(PA 490 Qualified Foresters are listed in the "Foresters" section, and have "490" in the right-hand column after their name)

Regulations Concerning Classification of Forest Land  (Sections 12-107d-1 through 12-107d-5 the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies (RCSA))   

Connecticut General Statutes (CGS) Concerning Classification of Forest Land 

Public Act 490 Land Values (Link to CT Dept of Agriculture)

Form for Annual Qualified Forester's Report to State Forester 

Annual Municipal Report to State Forester (Word, PDF)

Individuals seeking more information on forest land taxation are encouraged to contact their local tax assessor.

Content last reviewed February 2020.