What Is an Agricultural Tax Exemption in Florida?

Image of watering young plant in reference to agricultural exemption

The Agricultural Tax Exemption is a property tax exemption that landowners may receive, if they can show that their land is being put to agricultural use. Different states define “agricultural use” in different ways. For example, Florida requires agricultural use to be bona fide, which is defined as a “good faith commercial agricultural use of the land.” For example, simply having a farm animal on your land such as a goat or chicken without the animals serving an agricultural purpose to your land, will likely not suffice or meet the threshold of a “good faith commercial agricultural use of the land.” Some states require the agricultural use to be for commercial purposes, and for some profits to be gained from the land. 

The Agricultural Tax Exemption is a useful tool for farmers, as property used for agricultural purposes is usually taxed at a lower rate than residential property.

How Can I Get an Agricultural Tax Credit in Miami?

To apply for an Agricultural Classification in Miami-Dade County, the landowner should first send an Agriculture Application to the Property Appraiser’s Office Agriculture’s Section. The property must be in agricultural use as of January 1st of the given year in which you apply for an Agricultural Classification in order to qualify. The deadline to submit the application is on March 1st of the year you are applying for the tax credit. So, your right to an agricultural tax exemption is based on whether your land qualified as being used for agricultural purposes as of January 1st of the given year. Florida law requires property appraisers to notify applicants of the approval or rejection of an application for tax exemption, in writing, by July 1st of the year the application was filed. If your application is denied, Florida law provides that the property appraiser must advise you of your right to a consultation with the County’s Property Appraiser’s Office, where the property appraiser is able to provide additional information about the property’s agricultural use. Typically, the land will also be physically inspected.

The allocation of the agricultural classification is determined based on the property assessment as of January 1st of every year. Certain Florida counties, like Hillsborough County, do not have a size requirement for the property to be suitable for an agricultural classification. However, most counties require that the property be large enough for commercial use.

When received, the Agricultural classification will renew automatically every year. New applications should be filled out primarily if there are changes to the property’s titles or if the primary use of the property has changed. 

Can You Have an Agricultural Exemption on a Homestead Property in Florida?

The answer is yes, you can. In such a case, the residential part of the property with its curtilage will be evaluated differently from the agricultural part of the property. This way the agricultural part of the property won’t be covered by the homestead exemption.

However, in every case the benefit of classifying a part of the property as agricultural may not exceed the benefit of covering the entire property with a homestead tax exemption. It is, therefore, advisable to consult an attorney when deciding which exemption to claim.

How Can I Appeal the Denial of an Agricultural Classification on my Property?

The most common reason for denial of agricultural classification is because landowner’s fail to file the application before the March 1st deadline. Besides this, size of property and actual agricultural use follow as the next most common reasons for denying a property agricultural classification. While the law does not specify the required size of the property, it does define the property as one whose use entails “good faith agricultural use of the land.” As such, land that is too small may not qualify because it may not be constituted as large enough to sustain these good faith agricultural uses that are required by Florida law. 

EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables, West Palm Beach and historic Washington D.C. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

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