Agricultural classification pertains only to COMMERCIAL agricultural operations.
Qualifying agricultural property is classified according to its type (pasture, row crops, citrus, timberland, etc.), and is assessed by its agricultural use rather than by its highest and best use according to market. While market-value assessments are based on the most probable price at which properties would sell according to their highest and most profitable use, properties receiving an agricultural classification are assessed based on the income potential of the property as farmed.
Agricultural Classification Forms
Agricultural zoning of your property does not automatically entitle you to an agricultural classification for property tax purposes, as agricultural zoning and agricultural classification are not the same.
Applying for Agricultural Classification
To be considered for an agricultural classification, you must file an application
with the Property Appraiser's office between January 2nd and March 1st of the year in which the classification is first requested. An agricultural business plan (a formal statement of business goals, plans to reach them, and information about the organization) should be furnished with the application.
An agricultural classification is not transferable. You must file a new application with the Property Appraiser's office if the property is sold or transferred.
All property on which an agricultural classification application has been filed are field inspected to verify the use, and to ensure correct assessments. We will periodically request additional information from the property owner to determine the continuance of eligibility, such as income and expense documents. This office is required by law to keep all financial documents provided by the owner confidential.
If a property is leased, you must provide a copy of the lease with the application. The lease must have the name and address of both the lessor and lessee, and be for a term of not less than five years. A lease can have a six month escape or termination clause. The property owner is responsible for obtaining from the lessee updated leases and any income and expense information or Schedule "F" that supports a commercial agricultural operation.
Non-Agricultural Portions of Property
Any residence or other building on the property that has a non-agricultural use, together with a sufficient amount of land to support those non-agricultural use structures, is excluded from the agriculture classification.
Application Results Notification
If the application is approved, a notification will be sent on or before July 1st. If the application is denied, a certified letter will be mailed on or before July 1st. The letter will explain the appeal process.
Pursuant to section 193.461
, Florida Statutes: "No lands shall be classified as agricultural lands unless an application is filed on or before March 1st of each year. Only lands which are used primarily for bona fide agricultural purposes shall be classified agricultural."
Bona fide agricultural purposes means good-faith commercial agricultural use of land. Good faith commercial agricultural use of property is defined as the pursuit of an agricultural activity for a reasonable profit, or at least the reasonable expectation of meeting investment costs and realizing a reasonable profit.
In determining whether the use of the land for agricultural purposes is bona fide, the following factors may be taken into consideration:
January 1st is the statutory assessment date. Therefore, there must be a bona fide commercial agricultural use of the land on this date or a reasonable effort must have been made, and continues to be made, to place the property in agricultural use at or near January 1st of the given tax year.
- The length of time the land has been so utilized;
- Whether the use has been continuous;
- The purchase price paid;
- Size, as it relates to the specific agricultural use, but in no event shall a minimum acreage be required for agricultural assessment;
- Whether an indicated effort has been made to care sufficiently and adequately for the land in accordance with the accepted commercial agricultural practices, including, without limitation, fertilizing, liming, tilling, mowing, reforesting , and other accepted agricultural practices;
- Whether such land is under lease and, if so, the effective length, terms, and conditions of the lease;
- Such factors as may from time to time become applicable;