Any assessment for tax purposes that is less than the property's just value is a classified use assessment. An appraiser may assess property at lower than just value if it meets the statutory requirements of one of the following uses. If you have any questions about completing these forms, or to discuss your property value, please call our office at (727) 464-3207.
No land shall be classified as agriculture land unless an application is filed on or before March 1 of each year (Section 193.461(3)(a), Florida Statutes). Only lands which are used primarily for bona fide agriculture purposes shall be classified agricultural. "Bona fide agricultural purposes" means good faith COMMERCIAL agricultural use of land. The statutory assessment for property is January 1, therefore the property must be in use on this date. The approval or denial of a particular application for agricultural exemption is a decision made after analyzing the entirety of circumstances surrounding the viability of the particular agricultural operation as a commercial entity, rather than on a specific point.
If you would like to apply for the agricultural classification, please complete and return an Application for Agricultural Classification of Lands (DR482). In addition to an application, we will request documentation to verify that the property is being used for a bona fide commercial agricultural use. This may include:
- Latest IRS Schedule F-1040 (Farm Income and Expense).
- If you do not have an IRS Schedule F-1040 please provide:
- Your business’s income and expense information, either on a form maintained by the business or on the enclosed income and expense request form for the prior year.
- A representative sample of receipts for the care and productivity of the property, e.g. feed, fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, equipment, etc. for the prior year.
- Contracts for services related to the agricultural use of the property.
- If the property is leased, provide a copy of the current property lease.
- Additional information relevant to the commercial agricultural property use.
Please be sure to include the name of the business and the type of agricultural use on the application. An area appraiser may also visit the property to document the agricultural use. Any income information provided will be kept confidential in our records.
Florida Law provides two avenues of property tax relief for conservation easements, environmentally endangered lands, and other conservation areas that retain the natural landscape and ecosystem. The first is a conservation land classification. The second is a property tax exemption.
The classification provides that the value of land used for conservation purposes be assessed at its present use, much like the existing agricultural classification does for agricultural land. (Section 193.501, Florida Statutes). To qualify for the conservation land classification, the land must meet one of the following criteria:
- Must be a conservation easement, which retains land or water areas in their natural condition and limits dumping, removal of trees, dredging, construction of buildings, roads, etc. on the property. Conservation easements are often created through a deed restriction or condition;
- Land must be qualified and designated as environmentally endangered;
- Land must be designated as conservation land in a comprehensive municipal plan; or
- Land utilized for outdoor recreational or part purposes, such as land used for boating, camping, swimming, horseback riding, or scenic sites; AND
- The land must be conveyed for preservation of the land for not less than 10 years to the board of a public agency or charitable organization under Section 704.06, Florida Statutes. for preservation of the land for not less than 10 years.
The exemption completely exempts from property taxes land that is dedicated in perpetuity and used exclusively for conservation purposes. (Section 196.26, Florida Statutes). To qualify for the exemption, the land must be comprised of at least 40 contiguous acres. If it is less than 40 acres, then you must provide documentation from the Department of State's Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC) - indicating that the property fulfills a "clearly delineated state conservation policy" and yields a significant public benefit.
- Working Waterfront
Florida Constitution, Article VII Section 4(j), provides that properties designated as "Working Waterfronts" be assessed based on the current use of the property. Working Waterfronts include public marinas and dry stacks, public access points to navigable waters, properties used for commercial fishing, and water dependent marine manufacturing, commercial fishing, and marine vessel construction/repair facilities.
If you believe that you own property that qualifies as Working Waterfront, please complete and provide our office with the Working Waterfront Classification Preliminary Questionnaire AND the Marina/Working Waterfront Income and Expense Return by April 15.
In addition to the application and income and expense information, please provide the following, as applicable
- If your property was purchased within the last 18 months, please enclose a copy of the closing statement detailing costs of sale. These costs are given favorable consideration when values are developed.
- If there is a new building on your property that was built in the last 2 years, please include the construction costs.
Income-producing working waterfront parcels that qualify for this benefit will be assessed utilizing the income approach to value, which is based on adequate local data including market rental, expense, and vacancy rates.
For us to develop a value based on the income approach, we need accurate income and expense information for your property, including rental rates ($/square foot, $/slip, $/lineal foot, as applicable), number of slips/docks, high & dry storage, etc., expense rates, and vacancy rates. Your input is critical to the accurate valuation of your property. Florida Statutes require us to keep income, expense, and cost information you provide confidential, it will not be treated as public record.