Don’t Forget Your Greenbelt
If you have forest or agricultural land, and are actively managing it for that purpose, you are probably eligible for greenbelt classification. Florida, like most states, has adopted use-value assessment for the purpose of property taxation. Use-value assessment is the most widely used technique in the United States today for helping to maintain land in agricultural production.
Use-value assessment generally lowers the taxable value of agricultural property relative to assessment at fair market value. Through this provision in the tax law, agricultural producers are taxed at the income-earning potential of the land in agricultural production, rather than the value a willing buyer would pay for the land. In Florida, use-value assessment is often referred to as “greenbelt” law. Eligibility criteria for Florida’s use-value assessment are defined in the Florida Statutes: Florida Statute 193.461.
Are you eligible for greenbelt?
Although general guidelines are provided to Florida counties on the application of the state’s use-value assessment law, counties may vary in the application and determination of agricultural land value. Therefore, it is important for agricultural and forest landowners to understand the guidelines used to determine value in the county where the land is assessed and taxed. Find your County Property Appraiser’s office here. Your Florida Forest Service County Forester is also a good resource.
Get a management plan
For forestry, a written forest management plan is the first step to a bona fide forestry or timber operation. In many counties this is a baseline requirement for greenbelt assessment. A management plan is your roadmap from where you are to where you want to go in managing your property. Get a plan!
Apply for Greenbelt
Agricultural classification REQUIRES AN APPLICATION to your county property appraiser. In order to have your land considered for agricultural classification, you must apply to the property appraiser no later than March 1 of the year for which the classification is being sought. This is done by filling out and submitting the proper form, available at your County Property Appraiser’s Office. Apply with your County Property Appraiser’s office.
Watch our short greenbelt video.