Open Space Current Use Program

Guidelines
Whatcom County's Open Space Current Use Program is a property tax reduction program administered according to the Washington State Open Space Taxation Act, 84.34 RCW and its rules WAC 458-30.

Whatcom County's Open Space Current Use Program consists of two of the three classifications authorized by the Open Space Taxation Act:

1. Open Space Land 
    (includes sub-classification: Farm and Agricultural Conservation Land), and

2. Farm and Agricultural Land

3. Timber Land.  
    (This classification has been terminated pursuant to State law under   Whatcom County Ordinance No. 2014-055. As of the effective date of that ordinance (November 8, 2014), all lands formerly classified as timber land became Forest Land pursuant to Chapter 84.33 RCW.  Forest land is a classification administered solely by the Whatcom County Assessor’s Office.  Please contact the Assessor’s Office for information about the forest land classification.)

 
For more information about Whatcom County’s Property Tax Reduction Programs click here for a brochure or here for a map of Open Space Land.
  
Planning & Development Services accepts applications for the following classification:
    Open Space Land 
        (includes sub-classification: Farm and Agricultural Conservation Land)

Application Forms 
Application forms are available at:
Washington State Department of Revenue website:  
Whatcom County Planning and Development Services
 Whatcom County Assessor's Office
 
Public Benefit Rating System
Applications for Open Space Land and its sub-classification Farm and Agricultural Conservation Land are evaluated with the Whatcom County Public Benefit Rating System (PBRS), click here to view the PBRS.

Application Period
Applications may be made for classification at any time during the year from January 1 through December 31. If approved, current use valuation assessment begins January 1 of the year following the year the application was filed.

Where to Apply
Applications for the Open Space Land classification and sub-classification, Farm and Agricultural  Conservation Land are filed with the Long Range Planning Division at Whatcom County Planning and Development Services Department (PDS).


Applications for the Farm and Agricultural Land classification are filed with the Whatcom County Assessor’s Office located at the County Courthouse.

Application Fees
The current application fee is $575. Fees are established according to the Whatcom County Unified Fee Schedule.