Florida Senate - 2023                                    SB 1678
       By Senator Calatayud
       38-01487A-23                                          20231678__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to agricultural property
    3         classification; amending s. 193.461, F.S.; authorizing
    4         property to be classified as agricultural at the time
    5         of purchase if certain conditions are met; requiring
    6         that such property obtain certain classification
    7         within a specified time period; authorizing
    8         retroactive reclassification in certain circumstances;
    9         authorizing the property appraiser to extend the time
   10         period; requiring the property appraiser to make
   11         certain notifications to purchasers; amending s.
   12         193.4613, F.S.; conforming a cross-reference;
   13         providing an effective date.
   15  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   17         Section 1. Subsections (4), (5), (6), (7), and (8) of
   18  section 193.461, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections
   19  (5), (6), (7), (8), and (9), respectively, paragraphs (a) and
   20  (e) of subsection (3) are amended, and a new subsection (4) is
   21  added to that section, to read:
   22         193.461 Agricultural lands; classification and assessment;
   23  mandated eradication or quarantine program; natural disasters.—
   24         (3)(a) Except as provided in subsection (4), lands may not
   25  be classified as agricultural lands unless a return is filed on
   26  or before March 1 of each year. Before classifying such lands as
   27  agricultural lands, the property appraiser may require the
   28  taxpayer or the taxpayer’s representative to furnish the
   29  property appraiser such information as may reasonably be
   30  required to establish that such lands were actually used for a
   31  bona fide agricultural purpose. Failure to make timely
   32  application by March 1 constitutes a waiver for 1 year of the
   33  privilege granted in this section for agricultural assessment.
   34  However, an applicant who is qualified to receive an
   35  agricultural classification who fails to file an application by
   36  March 1 must file an application for the classification with the
   37  property appraiser on or before the 25th day after the mailing
   38  by the property appraiser of the notice required under s.
   39  194.011(1). Upon receipt of sufficient evidence, as determined
   40  by the property appraiser, that demonstrates that the applicant
   41  was unable to apply for the classification in a timely manner or
   42  that otherwise demonstrates extenuating circumstances that
   43  warrant the granting of the classification, the property
   44  appraiser may grant the classification. If the applicant files
   45  an application for the classification and fails to provide
   46  sufficient evidence to the property appraiser as required, the
   47  applicant may file, pursuant to s. 194.011(3), a petition with
   48  the value adjustment board requesting that the classification be
   49  granted. The petition may be filed at any time during the
   50  taxable year on or before the 25th day following the mailing of
   51  the notice by the property appraiser as provided in s.
   52  194.011(1). Notwithstanding s. 194.013, the applicant must pay a
   53  nonrefundable fee of $15 upon filing the petition. Upon
   54  reviewing the petition, if the person is qualified to receive
   55  the classification and demonstrates particular extenuating
   56  circumstances judged by the value adjustment board to warrant
   57  granting the classification, the value adjustment board may
   58  grant the classification for the current year. The owner of land
   59  that was classified agricultural in the previous year and whose
   60  ownership or use has not changed may reapply on a short form as
   61  provided by the department. The lessee of property may make
   62  original application or reapply using the short form if the
   63  lease, or an affidavit executed by the owner, provides that the
   64  lessee is empowered to make application for the agricultural
   65  classification on behalf of the owner and a copy of the lease or
   66  affidavit accompanies the application. A county may, at the
   67  request of the property appraiser and by a majority vote of its
   68  governing body, waive the requirement that an annual application
   69  or statement be made for classification of property within the
   70  county after an initial application is made and the
   71  classification granted by the property appraiser. Such waiver
   72  may be revoked by a majority vote of the governing body of the
   73  county.
   74         (e) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a), land
   75  that has received an agricultural classification from the value
   76  adjustment board or a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant
   77  to this section is entitled to receive such classification in
   78  any subsequent year until such agricultural use of the land is
   79  abandoned or discontinued, the land is diverted to a
   80  nonagricultural use, or the land is reclassified as
   81  nonagricultural pursuant to subsection (5)(4). The property
   82  appraiser must, no later than January 31 of each year, provide
   83  notice to the owner of land that was classified agricultural in
   84  the previous year informing the owner of the requirements of
   85  this paragraph and requiring the owner to certify that neither
   86  the ownership nor the use of the land has changed. The
   87  department shall, by administrative rule, prescribe the form of
   88  the notice to be used by the property appraiser under this
   89  paragraph. If a county has waived the requirement that an annual
   90  application or statement be made for classification of property
   91  pursuant to paragraph (a), the county may, by a majority vote of
   92  its governing body, waive the notice and certification
   93  requirements of this paragraph and shall provide the property
   94  owner with the same notification provided to owners of land
   95  granted an agricultural classification by the property
   96  appraiser. Such waiver may be revoked by a majority vote of the
   97  county’s governing body. This paragraph does not apply to any
   98  property if the agricultural classification of that property is
   99  the subject of current litigation.
  100         (4)(a)Property may be classified as agricultural at the
  101  time of purchase if the following conditions are met:
  102         1.The Department of Agriculture certifies that the
  103  purchaser owns an agriculture business in this state, that such
  104  business has been in operation for at least 5 years, and that
  105  such business is located on land that has received an
  106  agricultural classification under this section.
  107         2.The Department of Agriculture certifies that the
  108  purchaser has completed all recommended training and
  109  certification programs, including best management practices.
  110         3.The property is zoned for agricultural use.
  111         4.The purchaser submits a site plan, including a building
  112  construction plan.
  113         5.The purchaser completes the application for agricultural
  114  classification.
  115         (b)Property classified as agricultural under this
  116  subsection must obtain agricultural classification under
  117  subsection (3) within 5 years, or the property appraiser may
  118  retroactively reclassify the land as nonagricultural from the
  119  date of purchase. The property appraiser may extend the 5-year
  120  period upon written request.
  121         (c)If an agricultural classification is granted under this
  122  section, the property appraiser must notify the purchaser of his
  123  or her rights under s. 823.14, and how to comply with any flood
  124  plain management ordinance.
  125         Section 2. Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section
  126  193.4613, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  127         193.4613 Agricultural lands used in production of
  128  aquaculture; assessment.—
  129         (2)(a) When proper application for agricultural assessment
  130  has been made and granted pursuant to s. 193.461, and the
  131  property owner requests assessment pursuant to this section, the
  132  assessment of land used in the production of aquaculture
  133  products shall be based solely on its agricultural use,
  134  consistent with the use factors specified in s. 193.461(7)(a) s.
  135  193.461(6)(a), and assessed pursuant to paragraph (c).
  136         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2023.