Mel Gibson has failed in his bid to have a chunk of his land in Greenwich, Connecticut, classified as a farm in an effort to earn a tax break.

The Passion Of The Christ director had hoped to have 17 of his 75.7 acres classified as a farmland, but authorities were not convinced.

Town assessor JOHN 'TED' GWARTNEY says, "Anyone can have a few pigs in their back yard, but a viable farm is more than having something for personal use. It's about producing a viable product."

Gibson would have saved about $10,000 (GBP5,250) per year in property taxes on his $17.7 million (GBP9.3 million) estate if granted the exemption for owners of working farms. His annual property tax bill is reportedly about $137,000 (GBP72,105).

18/01/2005 03:29