March 1st Application Deadline for Agricultural Classification or “Greenbelt”
Did you know that in Florida, land used for commercial agriculture may qualify for reduced property taxes? The deadline to file an application for agricultural classification is March 1st. Applications must be submitted to your county property appraiser’s office. After the initial application, counties may allow you to reapply with a short form or automatically renew the classification each year (Florida Statutes 192.042 and 193.461).
What is agricultural classification?
Florida Statute 193.461 allows property classified as agricultural to be assessed based on use value rather than market value. Agricultural classification sets a lower taxable value on the property, reducing the amount of property tax owed. The annual classification is based on the property’s use on January 1st of each year.
Does your farm qualify?
According to Florida Statute 193.461, “only lands that are used primarily for bona fide agricultural purposes shall be classified agricultural.” The term “bona fide agricultural purposes” is defined by the Statute as “good faith commercial agricultural use of the land.” Agricultural classification is different than agricultural zoning. Zoning determines whether certain land uses are allowed or prohibited and sets density limits on animals and homes.
Contact your county property appraiser
Each county sets guidelines for determining whether a property receives agricultural classification or not. The property appraiser may require supporting documentation, such as a farm business plan, and a physical inspection of the property. The property appraiser may consider whether the land is managed “in accordance with accepted commercial agricultural practices”, length of time so managed, the size of the parcel, purchase price paid, and other factors (Florida Statute 193.461). Each county establishes the taxable value per acre for different types of agricultural uses. The income potential of the agricultural use, current market value as agricultural land, and other factors are considered in setting taxable values (Florida Statute 193.461).
Find your county property appraiser at http://floridarevenue.com/property/Pages/LocalOfficials.aspx.
Assistance from UF/IFAS Extension
Wondering about accepted commercial agricultural practices? The UF/IFAS Extension Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises website features a wide range of information regarding production practices for vegetables, livestock and other enterprises. Browse the production pages at https://smallfarm.ifas.ufl.edu/production/.
Looking for assistance with a farm business plan? Find resources for developing your farm business plan at https://smallfarm.ifas.ufl.edu/planning-and-management/.
In addition to research centers statewide, UF/IFAS has an Extension office in every county. Find your local Extension office here: http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/find-your-local-office/. Learn more about the Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Team at https://smallfarm.ifas.ufl.edu/about-us/.
Blog post by Kevin Athearn and Mary Beth Henry.