Guidelines 

Click here for our Jefferson County Agricultural Classification brochure (PDF)

Listed below are some general guidelines for how this office reviews the applications and determines eligibility. These general guidelines should not be considered solely definitive. While there is no “minimum acres” requirement to qualify for AG Classification, each application is individually reviewed based on economy of scale to the property size and use. In all cases, agriculture solely for personal use is not considered a bona fide commercial operation. Current and appropriate local and state certifications/licenses are strongly recommended as well as filing an annual Schedule “F” IRS Tax Return.

 

Fruit/Nut Trees

Land must be planted according to generally accepted schedules. Proper care and management must be evident. A description of the variety, plantings and trees per acre should be on file with the Property Appraiser’s Office. Production of fruits/nuts solely for your own use does not qualify as a commercial operation.

 

Pasture Land

Property must be fenced and it should be evident that the land is maintained and cared for sufficiently (e.g. fertilizing, liming, mowing etc.) The ratio of livestock to acreage and the soil capability are factors that are considered in granting the classification. For example, one cow on one acre is typically not a bona fide commercial operation, while 50 cows on 100 acres could be. Production of the livestock solely for your own use does not qualify as a commercial operation. If the property is leased, it must first meet the size requirements on its own, and the lease and the agricultural use must be in place prior to January 1st. A copy of the lease should be on file with the Property Appraiser’s Office.

 

Timber Operations

Requires implementation of a Management Plan for planted pines and natural stands (this applies to both hard wood and mixed tracts). A copy of the Management Plan should be filed with the Property Appraiser’s Office.

 

Apiaries

Bee yards or sites where honeybee hives or honeybee products are located must have an ex-traction house as required. Typically there are three general purposes for bee keeping: honeybee products, pollination and queen bee breeding. Certification with the Department of Agriculture is strongly recommended. Additional documentation may be required.

 

 

Aquaculture  

Catfish/shrimp farms, tropical fish farms, and other miscellaneous aquaculture, raised in either natural or artificial conditions, for human or domestic animal consumption. Production of any of these solely for personal use does not qualify as a commercial operation.

 

Crop Land  

Crops such as hay, wheat, corn, peanuts, cotton or other field crops are typical for this area. If the property is leased, its use must be in effect prior to January 1st. A copy should be on file with the Property Appraiser’s Office. Production of crops and vegetables solely for your own use does not qualify as a commercial operation.

 

 Nursery Land 

An above ground (e.g. potted, containers, hangings, etc.) or in ground (palm trees, oak trees, ornamentals or any marketable trees etc.) water source, or setup with irrigation is required. Only areas actually being used for the nursery and service area shall be entitled to agricultural classification. Personal nurseries and gardens do not qualify for the agricultural classification. Wholesale nurseries must have a state agricultural certificate on file at the Property Appraiser’s Office. Other documentation may be required for this classification.

 

Other Classifications: These will be handled on a case-by-case basis (e.g. poultry, swine, goats, rabbits, horses, etc.). Please feel free to contact this office with any questions you have regarding other classifications.

 

Filing Requirements and Deadline

In order to start the process of acquiring an agricultural classification, the lands to be considered must be used primarily for bona fide commercial agricultural purposes on January 1st of that year. In addition, a completed agricultural classification application DR-482 must be filed with the Property Appraiser’s Office by the March 1st deadline. Agriculture solely for personal use is not considered a bona fide commercial operation. A completed application includes all appropriate documentation to support the application including but not limited to leases, local and state licenses/certifications, annual filing of Schedule “F” IRS Tax Return, etc.

You may apply by mail or in person at during the application filing period of January 2 and March 1. If applying by mail, send your application along with the required documentation to:

Jefferson County Property Appraiser’s Office
Attn: Exemptions Dept.
480 W Walnut Street
Monticello, Florida 32344

DR-482 Application for Agricultural Classification of Land

 

DR-546 Agricultural Income and Information Form

 

IMPORTANT: Agricultural Classification is not transferable. If the property is sold or transferred from one ownership to another, a new application must be filed. If property is transferred between family members or entities by 50% or more, a new application must be filed.  If any changes in the use of the property it is important to notify the Property Appraiser’s office.

 

Review Process

Agricultural land use or zoning of your property does not automatically entitle you to agricultural classification for taxation purposes. They are not one and the same.

Application reviews begin in March and end by June 30th.  At times additional information may be requested to assist in a determination. Property may be physically inspected by staff during the review period.  In order for the Property Appraiser to determine whether or not the land is used for commercial agricultural purposes, the following factors must be taken into consideration:

  1. The length of time the land has been used;
  2. Whether the use has been continuous;
  3. Purchase price paid;
  4. Size, as it relates to specific agricultural use;
  5. Whether there has been an effort to care sufficiently and adequately for the land as it pertains to the agricultural endeavor. This includes but is not limited to fertilizing, tilling, mowing, reforesting, and other accepted agricultural practices;
  6. Whether such land is leased, and if so, the effective length, terms and conditions of the lease; and
  7. Such other factors which from time to time become applicable.

All Agricultural Application denials must be postmarked to applicants by July 1st.

 

Can I file the application late?

Yes. You may file an application between March 2nd and the 25th day following the mailing of the TRIM Notices if you have “just cause” for missing the deadline.  If the Property Appraiser accepts the “just cause” for late filing and reviews the application and determines that the land is used for commercial agricultural purposes, the application can be approved.

If the Property Appraiser does not approve the “just cause” for late filing and/or does not approve the application, you have the right to file a petition with the Value Adjustment Board (VAB) within 30 days of the denial of the application. The applicant must contact the Clerk of Court to file a petition and pay fees associated with the filing (850) 342-0219.

 

Failure to maintain Agricultural Use

The Property Appraiser’s office may physically inspect each Agricultural property at least once every five years.  The Department of Revenue audits the Agricultural Values in each county once every two years.  The Property Appraiser has the right to remove the classification from the land if the property is no longer being utilized for a commercial agricultural purpose.

 

Assistance

Our office will gladly provide assistance with completing your Agricultural Application contact the Agricultural/Conservation Department at (850) 997-3356 or via e-mail at brett.king@jeffersonpa.net.

For examples of Agricultural Management Plans please click the following links:
Click here for Management Plan Example A (pdf)
Click here for Management Plan Example B (pdf)

For a list of Forestry Consultants please click the following link:
Forestry Consultants (pdf)