Citrus County, Florida
General Questions and Answers about Agricultural Classification
Q. What is “agricultural purposes” according to the Florida Statute 193.461?
A. For the purpose of this statute, “agricultural purposes” includes, but is not limited to, horticulture,floriculture, viticulture, forestry, dairy, livestock, poultry, bee, pisciculture (when the land is used principally for the production of tropical fish), aquaculture, sod farming, and all forms of farm products and farm production.
Q. Can you give me advice or suggestions on what I can do to qualify my property for agricultural classification?
A. It is the responsibility of the property owner to decide how to use their property for agricultural purposes. The staff of the Property Appraiser cannot give advice or make suggestions to property owners regarding how to use their property, or how to qualify for agricultural classification.
Q. When should I apply for agricultural classification?
A. You may apply at any time, however your land must have agricultural uses in operation as of the statutory assessment date of January 1 of the year for which you are applying. In order to qualify for agricultural classification, an application must be filed in the Property Appraiser’s Office by March 1 in order to qualify for that year.
Q. What happens if I miss the deadline for filing?
A. If you miss the March 1 deadline, you may still receive an agricultural classification determination for that year, provided your land qualifies, you file a petition, pay a filing fee, and present your case to the Value Adjustment Board (VAB). The Property Appraiser has the authority to grant these petitions without appearing before the VAB.
Q. How many acres are required to qualify for agricultural classification?
A. Florida statutes do not specify any acreage requirements for agricultural classification. The Property Appraiser will consider the amount of acreage among other factors to determine if the land is used “primarily for bona fide agricultural purposes” according to Florida statutes.
Q. If my land is already zoned for agriculture, will it automatically receive an agricultural classification by the Property Appraiser?
A. No. Land that is “zoned for agriculture” does not receive an automatic agricultural classification from the Property Appraiser. Zoning and Agricultural Classification for taxation are not one and the same. If you purchase land that is “zoned for agriculture”, you will still have to apply for Agricultural Classification through the Property Appraiser’s Office. The deadline to file for an agricultural classifications between January 1st and March 1st of each year. There is no guarantee that land will receive agricultural classification for taxation, regardless of it’s zoning.
Q. If I purchase property that has already received agricultural classification from the Property Appraiser under the previous owner, do I have to file for agricultural classification?
A. Yes. Agricultural classification is not transferable, so it does not transfer to a new owner. An existing agricultural classification will remain on a property until December 31st of the year it is sold in. As new owner, you would have to reapply for Agricultural Classification between January 1 and March 1 of the following year.
Q. Can I lease my land for agricultural uses?
A. The Property Appraiser is not able to advise you on securing leases. Historically, some agricultural land owners have leased their land to others for grazing livestock, producing hay and other crops, forestry and other commercial agricultural uses. An agricultural lease does not in itself qualify land for an Agricultural Classification. If you lease land to others for agricultural purposes, and you apply for Agricultural Classification, you will be required to submit a copy of your lease and other supplemental information with your application.
Q. What size property do I have to own in order to lease it for bona fide agricultural purposes?
A. The size of a property is relevant to its use for bona fide agricultural purposes. The property appraiser has established guidelines, including minimum acreages for commonly accepted commercial agricultural practices.
Q. How can I get a copy of the guidelines for agricultural practices?
A. Guidelines are available in the property appraiser’s office in Inverness or Crystal River, or you can access them on our website at www.citruspa.org .
Q. Does the lease have to be written, or is an oral lease OK?
A. If you are applying for agricultural classification of leased land, the lease will have to be in writing and a copy attached to your application. Since the lease has to be legal, it must contain the property ID, and the name, address, phone number and signature of all parties. All leases must be notarized by a licensed notary of public.
Q. I hire a custom harvester each year, do I need a lease with them in order to qualify my cropland for agricultural classification?
A. Custom harvests are usually done on a contractual basis, where the harvester has no interest in the land or the crop, and only harvests a crop for a fee or share of the harvest. If this is your case, then a lease may not be required. You may however be asked to show your expenses and income from producing the crop.
Q. I live outside of Citrus County, so I have someone else keep up my land for me and I let them graze it and/or grow crops on it. Do I need a lease?
A. The property appraiser can not advise you to get a lease, however in order to qualify for agricultural classification, land has to be used for bona fide agricultural purposes. If you are unable to show expenses and income from using the property yourself for such purposes, then your land may not qualify.
Q. Do I have to turn in a lease each year if I continuously lease my land for bona fide agricultural purposes?
A. The property appraiser is required each year on January 1st to determine which lands in the county are agricultural. If your land has received agricultural classification in a prior year under a lease, the lease is subject to review for renewal, in which case you may be required to submit a copy of the lease or verify the renewal.
Q. Can my land qualify for High-Water Recharge Classification based on the formula adopted by the county?
A. At this time Citrus County does not have a provision for an exemption of this type. Interested parties may contact the County Attorney or the Board of County Commissioners for information.
Q. Do I have to have an occupational license for commercial agriculture?
A. You should call the County Tax Collector for this information, at (352) 341-6500.
Q. Does my land have to be zoned for agriculture in order to use it for agriculture?
A. You should call the County Planning and Zoning Office for this information, at (352) 527-5239. For assistance by phone, you should be prepared to provide them with your property legal description, alternate key or parcel ID.