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What is an Agricultural Tax Exemption?

written by: Robin L.•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 12/31/2009

An agricultural tax exemption is a great option for owners of large and small areas of agriculturally used land. Find out more about how these tax exemptions can help you.

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    Most states that have an agricultural tax exemption that may be utilized it through property taxes. However, there are federal tax exemptions for the agricultural industry just as with any other business. The various agricultural tax exemptions can be a big reason farmers, both big and small, are able to stay in business even in a difficult economy.

    Many states have some sort of property tax relief, usually for the primary residence of the individual. However, owning additional property not connected to the primary residence can quickly increase the individual or family tax burden. What some people may not realize that there are agricultural tax exemptions available for property that is not the primary residence in many states, or additional tax exemptions for primary residences that are also used for agricultural purposes. For example, in Florida a piece of property being used exclusively for agricultural purposes such as raising live stock, timber, or crops, is eligible for an agricultural tax exemption that is applied to the property tax. The availability of the tax exemption and the amount it is worth is up to local county governments. However, state legislatures impose tax rate caps that the local county governments may not exceed.

    Virtually every state has different caps as well as different overall guidelines. Within each state it is usually left up to the individual counties, or perishes, to decide specific tax guidelines. Because of this it is important to contact the county tax office in the county you have purchased, or wish to purchase, property. Learning about the tax, and tax exemption, rules before you buy the property may help land owners save money in the long run. If property is already owned, it is advisable to check each year on any assessment changes in order to obtain or retain any available agricultural tax exemptions.

    Regardless of the state or amount of property one owns, if it is being used in any way for an agricultural pursuit there is a good chance that it is eligible for some form of agricultural tax exemption. Be sure to check with your local and state taxing authorities to find out how much money you could be saving.