If you are in agriculture, the Florida Greenbelt Law gives you a tax break on your agricultural property.
This incentive helps to grow your business and give back to the state’s thriving agricultural economy.
If you take advantage of the agricultural exemption, Florida law can put money back in your pocket to develop your business and support your household.
“This is a great tax break for agribusinesses in Florida. Be sure to check your local property appraiser’s website to see what documents they may require, as it varies across counties. The more documents you have to showcase your agricultural purpose, the better. Inform your local property appraiser of any change in use and just remember that this tax break doesn’t automatically entitle you to any other agriculture benefits at the state or federal level.”Agribusiness Attorney, Kara Groves
What Is the Agricultural Exemption in Florida?
The tax exemption agricultural property owners in Florida can enjoy changes the way property appraisers value an owner’s property.
An agricultural classification when appraising property can lower the amount of taxes you owe on your property by lowering your property’s assessed value.
Florida provides this tax incentive to protect and develop its agricultural lands.
How Does Florida Normally Value Property to Determine Property Taxes?
Florida normally assesses property value by calculating the property’s market value. Market value is also known as just value. Just valuation of property under Florida law includes many factors such as:
- The present cash value of the property, or the amount a willing purchaser would pay a willing seller;
- The highest and best use the property could achieve;
- The location of the property;
- The size of the property;
- The cost of the property;
- The condition of the property;
- The income derived from the property; and
- The net proceeds from sale of the property.
The appraiser uses the assessed value to calculate your property tax liability.
In many cases, the most lucrative use of Florida property is the development of residential and commercial buildings.
You should not have to pay higher taxes associated with commercial and residential building development if you seek to develop natural resources on your property.
How Does Florida Value Agricultural Property to Determine Property Taxes?
The Florida agricultural tax exemption assesses the value of qualifying property by the value of the property’s use. The only factors the appraiser can use to assess the value of commercial agricultural property are:
- The property’s quantity and size;
- The property’s condition;
- The property’s market value as agricultural land;
- The income the property produces;
- The present productivity of the land;
- The commercial viability of the agricultural product; and
- Other applicable agricultural factors reflective of standard, present agricultural practices.
Florida boasts an impressive share of the United States’ agricultural economy, and you have many options for making your land eligible for an agricultural tax exemption.
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How to Get an Agricultural Exemption in Florida
To get an agricultural tax exemption in Florida, your land must qualify under the applicable statute, and you must submit paperwork by the appropriate deadlines.
Who Is Eligible for a Greenbelt Law Exemption in Florida?
You can receive a Greenbelt Law exemption if you primarily use your land for bona fide agricultural purposes.
Bona fide agricultural purposes are good faith commercial agricultural uses of your land. Factors that determine whether you primarily use your land for bona fide agricultural purposes include:
- The length of time you have used the land for commercial agricultural purposes;
- The continuity of your commercial agricultural use;
- The purchase price paid for the land;
- The size of the land in relation to agricultural use;
- The efforts you have made to care sufficiently and adequately for the land according to commercial agricultural standards; and
- The terms and conditions of any leasing agreements covering the land.
While this list of factors is a good starting point to determine your eligibility for an exemption, they are not one size fits all. These factors change depending on the kind of agriculture you perform on your land, and an experienced agribusiness attorney can determine what your unique agricultural business needs to qualify.
What Is the Procedure to Obtain an Agricultural Exemption in Florida?
Florida agricultural exemption requirements include multiple applications you must complete and multiple deadlines you must follow.
Your land must be eligible for exemption by January 1 of any year in which you plan to apply for exemption.
Once your land is eligible, you have until March 1 to apply for an agricultural exemption.
The appraiser may ask you for additional information to prove bona fide agricultural use before granting or denying your application.
If you lease your property for agricultural purposes, the leaseholder can apply for exemption on your behalf if they include the lease and if the lease or an affidavit from you proves you authorized their actions.
Failure to apply by March 1 means you waive your right to an exemption for a year. If you can prove extenuating circumstances that prevented you from applying on time, you have 25 days after the appraiser mails their notice of property assessment to petition the appraiser for exemption.
If an appraiser denies exemption because they claim you lack sufficient evidence, you have 25 days from the mailing of their property assessment notice to make a petition for exemption to the value adjustment board. You must pay $15 to petition the value adjustment board.
What Is the Procedure to Maintain an Agricultural Exemption in Florida?
After the appraiser grants you an agricultural exemption, you must annually certify whether or not ownership and/or use of the land has changed.
Your agricultural exemption renews on a yearly basis until ownership or use changes.
On January 31 of each year, the appraiser sends you notice of your exemption and a reminder to send certification regarding ownership and use.
What If I Live on My Agricultural Property?
If you have a residence on your commercial agricultural property, you can still qualify for the exemption. The appraiser excludes the portion of your property containing a residence and its curtilage from the agricultural property.
The appraiser uses just valuation to assess the value of the property containing your residence and its curtilage. The portion of your property containing a residence can receive a homestead exemption.
Contact an Agribusiness Attorney to Give Yourself the Best Commercial Advantage
Florida has many laws that can boost your business in extraordinary ways, but it is hard to seize these opportunities without the help of a good agribusiness attorney.
The attorneys at BrewerLong and Groves Law are passionate and highly experienced, and they understand the ins and outs of the agricultural industry. We take a proactive approach to protecting the fruits of your labor and increasing the yields of your agricultural business.
Call us at 407-660-2964 or contact us online for a consultation to protect your land and your labor.
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