Maine Farmland Trust, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, GrowSmart Maine and the city of Belfast will hold an information session Monday, Dec. 9, on farmland and tree growth property tax programs as well as an update on commercial solar development on farmland.

The session will be held at Belfast Free Library, 106 High St., from 6 to 8 p.m. “The city of Belfast recognizes the farm and woods economy as a fast-growing sector and wants to support it,” City Councilor Mike Hurley said. “This is the first in a series of programs to bring together and serve farmers, landowners and others in this important and varied community.”

Maine offers four current-use property tax programs to encourage private landowners to keep working land-use patterns and landscapes intact. These programs establish a land value based on the land's current use rather than its potential development value, reducing the landowner's property taxes.

Presenters Stephanie Gilbert and Morten Moesswilde of DACF will cover the nuts and bolts of the Farmland and Tree Growth programs: how to enroll, what to know, and how these programs can help you meet your land use goals, both for those already enrolled and for those who are thinking about enrolling.

The program will include an update about commercial solar development on farmland in Maine, and considerations for farmers and farmland owners. Presenter Ellen Stern Griswold, MFT’s policy and research director, will describe the work of the Solar Siting Working Group to create educational resources, solar siting guidance materials, and other methods to promote well-sited solar projects in response to the significant increase in solar development in Maine.

This information session is intended for farmers, farmland owners, woodlot owners, and municipal representatives in the Belfast area. The event is free and open to all. Refreshments will be provided. RSVP through MFT’s website, Walk-ins also welcome. For more information, call MFT at 338-6575.