Diane Pendleton, CAE, MAI, CFE
Per 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” means good faith commercial agricultural use of the land.” The term “agricultural purposes” includes but is not limited to, horticulture; floriculture; viticulture; forestry; dairy; livestock; poultry; bee; pisciculture, if the land is used principally for the production of tropical fish; aquaculture, including algaculture; sod farming; and all forms of farm products and farm production.
You may apply for an agricultural classification if your property is used for a bona fide commercial agricultural purpose. Agriculturally classified lands are assessed based on an agricultural use rate which overrides the market value on a per acre basis. There is a specific agricultural use rate for each use category based on the net income attributable to the land from the commercial agricultural business operation. The agricultural classification normally results in significant tax savings.
You may receive the agricultural classification and retain a homestead exemption on your property. The portion of your property consisting of the residence and associated curtilage is assessed separately. The agriculturally classified lands are excluded from the homestead exemption and not protected by the 3% CAP. In cases involving long term property ownership, it is typically more beneficial to forego the Agricultural Classification in order to protect the property from future assessment increases.
If you are the owner of record on January 1 and a commercial agricultural business is in operation on the property, you may apply for this classification by submitting an application between January 1 and March 1. You will be notified of the status of your application around July 1. If we approve your application, it is not necessary to reapply each year. If there is a change in the use type or acreage used, you must notify our office.
If your agricultural classification application is denied and you disagree, please call our office. You are entitled to an informal conference which gives you the opportunity to discuss the basis of the denial with the appraiser and provide any new information. You also have 30 days from the mailing of the denial notice to file a petition with the Value Adjustment Board.