What is Greenbelt ?
Greenbelt is the common term used in many states for various types of preferential tax relief treatment for agricultural properties, including forestland. In Florida, it is used for the statutorily provided Agricultural Classification, and is frequently also called an Agricultural Exemption. It also has other names both in Florida and other states: Agricultural Assessment, Agricultural Appraisal, Classified Use, Preferential Assessment, Agricultural Covenant, and Conservation Use Covenant.
How long has Greenbelt been available; and, is it available in every Florida county? Why can’t I find any Greenbelt literature
Greenbelt has been available Statewide since the implementing statutes were adopted in 1959. The Greenbelt name won’t be found anywhere in the statutes since its more of a generic term that references exemption provisions. Article VII, Section 4 of the Florida Constitution provides for classification and assessment of agricultural property based on use. Florida Statutes 193.441, 193.451, and 193.461 contain the provisions for Agricultural Classification (Greenbelt) and assessments, defining any assessment at less than the full value as a Classified Use assessment.
What is the benefit? How much exemption do I receive?It is not an exemption, but is a preferential and privileged assessment based on land use. It provides far greater relief from tax liability than most exemptions. For some agricultural land uses, the reduction in taxes for Greenbelt Classification versus market value may exceed 90%!
How can a Greenbelt appraisal be so much less than a market value?
The appraisal is based on what appraisers call an “income approach,” and has nothing to do with the market value of the property. The actual agricultural use of the land and the soil fertility or capability are determined, such as Cropland, Soil Capability Class II. A typical agricultural net income for each use and productivity is determined and capitalized to provide a per-acre value. Ex: A $30 net income per acre will yield an approximate taxable value of $300 per acre.
part 2 coming