Agricultural Land Conversion Charge

​​​Sec. 74.485, Wis. Stats.

  1. How is the conversion charge calculated?

  2. If a parcel is split, how is the size calculated when determining which conversion charge to apply?

  3. Who issues the conversion charge?

  4. When are the values used in the conversion charge calculation available?

  5. Are there exceptions to a conversion charge?

  6. If land converts to undeveloped land (class 5), agricultural forest (class 5m), productive forest (class 6) or other (class 7) for one year, and then converts to residential (class 1), is it then liable for a conversion charge?

  7. What is the definition of "other" as a category on the roll?

  8. Does "other" include a residential home built on five acres split off a tilled 40-acre parcel as a separate parcel if the ownership changed to the farm operator's children, parents, or grandparents before the change in use took place?

  9. Does the assessor have to reclassify all residential parcels belonging to children, parents, or grandparents of farm operators to "other"?

  10. An existing farm operation with the majority of its land classified agricultural tears some buildings down, adds some additional buildings, and changes the total area used for the site. Does a conversion charge apply?

  11. A parcel was classified as nine acres agricultural and one acre of land and buildings classified as "other" on the January 1, 2022​ assessment roll. The parcel had new construction during 2022. Three additional agricultural acres were converted to site acres, and the improvement's highest and best use changed to residential. The assessor did not discover the changes until after the 2023 assessment was completed. The 2023 taxes reflected the value of only the original "other" site and improvements from 2022. For the January 1, 2024 assessment, the parcel was re-classified as residential, with a significantly higher improvement value. Does a conversion charge apply?

  12. What should an assessor do when discovering land was misclassified?

  13. Is land previously classified as agricultural that is left fallow, subject to a conversion charge?

  14. If the property was classified agricultural on January 1 and entered in the Managed Forest Law (MFL) program during that year (becoming exempt on the assessment roll), is a conversion charge due?

  15. What if I disagree with the property use's change in classification?

  16. When is the conversion charge due?

  17. If a change in use takes place, and a conversion charge is due, but no conversion charge is issued, can a county treasurer issue the conversion charge in the following years?

  18. Who owes the conversion charge?

  19. How are buyers being made aware of the potential conversion charge?

  20. What if the conversion charge is not paid?

  21. Can the county subtract the administrative costs of collection from the conversion charge amount returned to the taxation districts?

  22. Does the county share the 1% per month added interest payment 50/50 with the municipality, or does the county keep that income?

  23. Once a conversion charge becomes a special charge on the tax bill, can a county add its 0.5% tax to the bill, like with "other" special charges?

  24. Do the overlying taxation jurisdictions share in the conversion charge?

  25. Are exempt entities (ex: churches and benevolent associations) subject to the conversion charge?

  26. Are governmental entities subject to the conversion charge under state law (sec. 74.485, Wis. Stats.)?

  27. Can a conversion charge be issued more than once on the same parcel of land?


Contact the appropriate Equalization Bureau District Office.