Topsfield Assessor's Office

Chapter Land

Forest, agricultural/horticultural, and recreational lands valued according to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapters 61, 61A, and 61B. Land is valued at its current use rather than the full and fair cash value.

Chapter 61 - Forest Land

Land devoted to the growth of forest products. Upon application, the State Forester may allow accessory land devoted to other non-timber uses to be included in certification. Forest Products are defined as wood, timer, Christmas trees, other forest growth and any other product produced by forest vegetation.

Link to Massachusetts Forestry: State Forestry

Chapter 61A - Agricultural & Horticultural Land

Land is considered to be in agricultural use when it is primarily used in raising animals for the purpose of selling such animals or a product derived from such animals in the regular course of business.

Land is considered to be in horticultural use when used in raising fruits, vegetables, berries, nuts and other food for human consumption; feed for animals, tobacco, flowers, sod, trees, nursery or greenhouse products and ornamental plants and shrubs for the purpose of selling such products in the regular course of business, or when primarily and directly used in raising forest products under a program certified by the State Forester to be a planned program to improve the quantity and quality of a forest crop for sale.

Informational Agricultural Resource: Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation, Inc.

Chapter 61B - Open Space or Recreational Land

Land retained in a substantially natural, wild or open condition or in a landscaped condition in such manner as to allow to a significant extent the preservation of wildlife and other natural resources. Or, land to be used for certain permitted recreational purposes such as hiking and camping and open to the public or members of a non-profit organization.

The recreational use must not materially interfere with the environmental benefits of the land. Land may bein a pastured or managed forest condition under a certified forest management plan approved by and subject to procedures established by the state forester, thus allowing for forestry used on land in 61B.

Application Forms

If you have any questions, please contact the Assessors' Office (978-887-1514).