Real estate developers in Florida are buying and improving rural land at a record pace. In many cases, this land has been devoted to purposes which resulted in the land being categorized as agricultural for real estate tax assessment purposes. Florida Statutes, Section 193.461, requires county property appraisers to categorize land as agricultural upon request by the owner if it is demonstrated that the land is being used for a bona fide agricultural purpose. Such purposes under the relevant statute can include a variety of uses, such as horticulture, floriculture, forestry, dairy, livestock, poultry, beekeeping and fish farming, to name a few.
Whether land qualifies to be categorized as agricultural under this statute depends on a number of factors, including the quantity and size of the land, its condition, its market value as agricultural land, its income, its productivity, the economic viability of its use, and other factors reflective of standard present practices of agricultural use and production.
Sometimes called an “agricultural exemption,” the classification is not really an exemption from real estate taxes, but rather a means of reducing the appraised value of the land on the county’s tax rolls, resulting in lower taxes being assessed in order to preserve and encourage the agricultural use of land in the state. [Read more
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