Pursuant to Florida Statutes 193.461(3)(a), “No land shall be classified as agricultural land unless an application is filed on or before March 1 of each year. Only lands which are used primarily for bona fide agricultural purposes shall be classified as agricultural. “Bona fide agricultural purposes” means good faith commercial agricultural use of land.”
In order for the Property Appraiser to determine whether or not the land is used for commercial agricultural purposes, the following factors must be taken into consideration:
1. The length of time the land has been used;
2. Whether the use has been continuous;
3. Purchase price paid;
4. Size, as it relates to specific agricultural use;
5. Whether there has been an effort to care sufficiently and adequately for the land as it pertains to the agricultural endeavor. This includes but is not limited to fertilizing, tilling, mowing, reforesting, and other accepted agricultural practices;
6. Whether such land is leased, and if so, the effective length, terms and conditions of the lease; and
7. Such other factors which from time to time become applicable.
The Property Appraiser has the right to remove the classification from the land if the property is no longer being utilized for a commercial agricultural purpose.
If there is a home site located on the property applying for an agricultural classification, the home and the curtilage it sits on are NOT eligible for this classification. The owner may obtain a homestead exemption if it is the owner’s primary residence.
Existing property owners with agricultural classification will receive an automatic renewal notice each year. If any changes to the land have occurred, it is the responsibility of the taxpayer to bring it to the Property Appraiser’s attention by returning the card with the appropriate information or change noted. Properties will continue to be reviewed by our field deputies once every five years to verify that bona fide commercial practices are still in place. If the property has changed ownership, the new owner will be required to file an application and meet eligibility requirements
When a property is leased for agricultural purposes, the same rules apply for the classification of agriculture. It is the ultimate responsibility of the owner to make sure the lessee is complying with all laws that govern the agricultural classification. The owner needs to submit the lease in its entirety with the application. If any change in the lease occurs, it is the responsibility of the property owner to report it to the Property Appraiser.
DENIAL OF AGRICULTURAL CLASSIFICATION
The Property Appraiser will notify the owner of record by letter of denial of the classification. You will have 30 days from the date on your denial letter to file a petition to the Value Adjustment Board (VAB) to appeal the denial by the Property Appraiser.
IMPORTANT: January 1st is the statutory assessment date. Therefore the property must be in use on or before this date or a reasonable effort has been made to place the property in use. The filing deadlines for agricultural classification is March 1st of each year. Agricultural Classification is not transferable. If the property is sold or there is a transfer of ownership, a new application must be filed by the new property owner. If any changes in the use of the property it is important to notify the Property Appraiser’s office. All applications must be reviewed by the Property Appraiser who either approves or disapproves the application. He may at that time request additional information to assist in his determination. If the application is denied you will be notified by mail at which time you can ask to discuss the denial with the Property Appraiser. Agricultural zoning of your property does not automatically entitle you to agricultural classification for taxation purposes. They are not one and the same