Pursuant to Florida Statutes 193.461(3) (b), “Subject to the restrictions specified in this section, 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. In determining whether the use of the land for agricultural purposes is bona fide, the following factors may be taken into consideration:
- The length of time the land has been so used,
- Whether the use has been continuous,
- The purchase price paid,
- Size, as it relates to specific agricultural use, but a minimum acreage may not be required for agricultural assessment,
- Whether an indicated effort has been made to care sufficiently and adequately for the land in accordance with accepted commercial agricultural practices, including, without limitation, fertilizing, liming, tilling, mowing, reforesting, and other accepted agricultural practices.
- Whether the land is under lease and, if so, the effective length, terms, and conditions of the lease,
- Such other factors as may become applicable.
Only those parts used in the commercial agricultural endeavor are included in the Agricultural Classification. A home, surrounding land and the outbuildings are not included. If the home is the owner’s primary residence, the owner may apply for a Homestead Exemption.
January 1st is the statutory assessment date for all property, therefore, to qualify for agricultural classification a property must be in bona fide agricultural use on or before that date or otherwise a reasonable effort must have been made to place the property in bona fide agricultural use by January 1st.
The annual filing period for agricultural classification is between January 1st and March 1st.
IMPORTANT: Agricultural classification is not transferable to a new property owner. If a proper is sold or the ownership transferred in some way, an application for agricultural classification by the new property owner must be timely filed if the property is continued in bona fide agricultural use. If the use of an agricultural property is changed or discontinued, it is important to notify the Property Appraiser’s office of such change.
No final decision will be made on an application for an agricultural classification until all information relating to the application has been submitted and reviewed, the property has been inspected, and a final analysis of the factors set forth in Florida Statute 193.461, the Florida Department of Property Tax Rules Chapter 12D-5, and applicable case law has been performed in relation to the specific facts and circumstances disclosed by such information and inspection. Under no circumstances shall an agricultural classification be promised to a taxpayer prior to completion of this final analysis, and no taxpayer is entitled to rely on any representation that his or her property will be granted an agricultural classification until such time as a final decision has been issued by the Property Appraiser’s office, Pursuant to Florida Statute 193.461(1). The Property Appraiser has the authority to decide whether a parcel of land is entitled to an agricultural classification. Pursuant to Florida Statute 193.461(2), any landowner whose land is denied agricultural classification by the Property Appraiser may appeal to the Value Adjustment Board.