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Greenbelt

In 1976, the Tennessee General Assembly enacted the Agricultural, Forest and Open Space Land Act of 1976. The purpose of the Act is to help preserve agricultural, forest, and open space land. This is accomplished by valuing land based upon its present use, rather than at a highest and best use. When property is valued at its highest and best use, the threat of development can bring about land use conflicts, create high costs for public services, contribute to increased energy usage, and stimulate land speculation.

On October 30, 2018, the State Board of Equalization approved the following Greenbelt forms pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. §§  67-5-1005 through 1007 for usage at the county level:  

On October 30, 2018, the State Board of Equalization delegated authority pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 4-3-5103 to the Executive Secretary to approve any county specific Greenbelt Forms that are substantially similar to the state-approved Greenbelt forms.  Jurisdicitions wishing to use a county specific form should submit an approval request via email to Betsy.Knotts@cot.tn.gov.   

Below are all of the county specific forms approved by the State Board of Equalization.

The purpose of this manual is to provide information about the Agricultural, Forest and Open Space Land Act of 1976 (the “Act”)—the law is commonly known as “greenbelt.” The Act is codified in Tennessee Code Annotated §§ 67-5-1001 through 1050. This manual will discuss:

  • the agricultural, forest and open space classifications;
  • the process of applying for a classification;
  • assessment of rollback taxes; and
  • the appeals process. 

It is anticipated that the manual can be useful to taxpayers, county and city officials, and persons with a general interest in greenbelt.

The State Board of Equalization is responsible for approving the forms used to apply for agricultural, forest or open space classification. In addition, the State Board of Equalization hears appeals of denials of timely filed greenbelt applications, appeals concerning liability for rollback taxes and appeals of use value.

SBOE Greenbelt Manual