An agricultural classification, more commonly known as "Greenbelt" is not an exemption, but rather it is a classification of different types of agricultural property, such as citrus groves, pasture, cropland, and nurseries. The greenbelt classification is a benefit that provides a lower assessment (value in use not market value) to farmers in order that they may continue to commercially farm their land. The purpose of our Greenbelt Department is to administer greenbelt classifications to qualified properties. Only lands used primarily for "Bona fide agricultural purposes" shall be classified agricultural. "Bona–fide agricultural purpose" means, good faith commercial agricultural use of the land. All property being considered for agricultural classification must be in agricultural use as of January 1st each year.
An application for agricultural classification of land must be completed and submitted to the Property Appraiser's Office on or before March 1st of the year the owner applies for greenbelt. This application is a declaration to the County that the owner's primary use of the property is for commercial agricultural purposes on January 1.
Every property is physically inspected before the greenbelt classification is granted and is re-inspected annually. Once granted, the application will automatically renew unless the property changes ownership or changes to a non-agricultural use. The Property Appraiser has the right to remove the greenbelt classification if the property is no longer being utilized for a commercial agricultural purpose.
If your application for the agricultural classification is denied, you will be notified by certified mail.
In determining whether the use of the land for agricultural purposes is bona fide, the following factors may be considered:
- The length of time the land has been utilized;
- Whether the use has been continuous;
- The purchase price paid;
- Size, as it relates to specific agricultural use;
- A serious 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 leased and, if so, the effective length, terms, and conditions of the lease; and
- Such other factors may from time to time become applicable.
If there is a home site located on the property applying for greenbelt, the home and the home site acreage are NOT eligible for the agricultural classification. If the home site is the owner's primary residence, the owner may obtain a homestead exemption.
Please note: The Save Our Homes/Amendment 10 provision of homestead exemption is not applicable to the "greenbelt" portion of the property.
Please call our Agricultural Department at (813)272-6968 if you need additional information or would like an application.