Equine Application Process

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Application Directions

Name: The name section is the owner of the property’s name or a representative such as a manager of the business or a tax representative legally that is allowed to represent the interest of the fee simple owner. The tenant does not have the legal right only if they are responsible for the taxes on the lease.

Phone: Include the contact number of the owner or someone that has access to the property on behalf of the owner.

Parcel ID or legal description: I would include the parcel ID. Trying to locate a property by its legal description is incredibly difficult. You can find a 17 digit number a.k.a the PCN by looking your property up on the property appraiser’s website.

Land Used Primarily for Agricultural Purposes Section: If you do not see your specific use in this section, your use would be written in the other box. Circle or simply indicate which use you are applying for by writing in the box to the right the number of acres you’re applying for. The next box to the right is indicates how long you have been active in this particular agricultural use.

The Agricultural Income from this Property: Specify the year and what Ag use such as poultry or cattle. The gross income is how much money in total was made that year. Your expenses are what you had to pay to keep that use going. Your net income is the gross income minus the expenses.

Under the Agricultural Income Section is the Date Purchased and the Purchase Price. The purchase price isn’t as important as the date purchased but it may be helpful to the Appraiser’s Office to know this information.

A Tangible Account is a business account filed with the Property Appraiser. This is a good indication there is a business on the property. It is not a necessity, but you would know if you filed or not. Answer “no” if you do not have a business tax account with the Property Appraiser.

The next question: Is the property leased to others? If there is any lease on the property, including a residential lease with an addendum for the horses or a boarding agreement, the answer is “yes”.

Has the property been rezoned to a non-agricultural use at the request of the owner? In other words, if the property was zoned Agricultural/Residential (AR) or just Agricultural, and you as the owner put in a request to the Department of Building and Zoning to change the zoning code to say, commercial, it’s very possible that agricultural use could be an illegal use and disqualify you from acceptance. Again, you would know if you changed the zoning.

There is a small area to file out that indicates the year you are applying for so make sure this is completed.

Sign and date your application. Make a copy of it and when you send it or drop it off, get a receipt of some sort to prove when you applied should there be any issues down the road.

Application deadlines are March 1 in the year of which you are applying (FL Statute 193.461 (3.a). Again, the application can be found here.

Use

Once the application is submitted, you need to prove use is and was on the property on January 1. Try and take photographs of the use as close to January 1st as possible for documentation. Time and date stamp your photos if possible.

The property appraiser will typically give an Agricultural Classification on whatever lands are used. The more land used may result in more Agricultural Classified Lands. If the Ag Classification will save you money (check out the Ag Analysis Calculator) try and apply for all the acres on the property to see what you can get. Why limit your tax savings?

Business Proof

The next characteristic needed is that you need to have a bona fide agricultural business. Also, it needs to be stated that the development of business can be developed throughout the year. Example: You can start with a business lease in December and then maybe start an LLC in February. In April you’d file your company income taxes. Send this information as soon as possible, either with the application or as it’s available. If it’s unavailable, let the property appraiser know in writing. Also, have a business plan. One can be found here. A business plan will not prove business use on it’s own but if you are starting a business it’s likely you will not have much documentation. These are helpful and can show intent at a minimum.

Here’s how to go about the business aspect:

Boarding: For boarding horses take a look into boarding agreements from Legal Forms.com if you do not have a boarding agreement already in place. For most other legal documentation needed look at Law Depot (click this affiliate link to receive a 10% discount on online legal forms)

Equine Training: Make sure to keep any copies of contest entry fees and contest winnings. Some additional affiliate websites to help out with training are: www.easyhorsetraining.com or equestriancoach.com. For nutrition I recommend affiliate Tampa Bay Downs in Tampa,

  • Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach,
  • Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington
  • The World Equestrian Center in Ocala,
  • Sumter Equestrian Center in Bushnell,
  • In addition to the sites listed, there are the Rodeos in Arcadia, the Southeast Ocala Pro Rodeo, the Ocala Shrine Rodeo and Silver Spurs Rodeo in Kissimmee amongst others. Also, let’s not forget about barrel racing almost throughout the entire state. Some websites that will give some info are: www.floridaequineathlete.com/florida-barrel-racing-events.html or floridahorselife.com.

    Breeding Horses: First, if you are breeding thoroughbreds take a look at the Florida Statutes, particularly FL. Statute 535 which discusses the proper licensure needed to sell in Florida. The statutes also discuss licensing fees, medications prior to testing, horse shows, and some other important information.

    Keep any contracts and or receipts of any sales and/or veterinary en vetro bills. Selling a horse can be challenging and if you already market your horse then keep your advertisements to show the property appraiser. Here are some other websites that may help with selling your horse: Petersonsmith.com or select breeders services for more locations around the US and world. For a mix of both breeding services and education about breeding look at equinereproduction.com.

    Other activities may or may not qualify however read this if you are denied. Tuftee v County of Kane (1979). The point here may help your argument of why you should be approved. The main point is that the activity of why the livestock is being raised is not important and not part of the statutes.

    Always make sure to claim any profits or losses on your yearly income taxes too. If you are running a business and making money, then you may want to keep track of the earning and spending. The accounting will be easier come tax season. Let’s face it, QuickBooks is the leader in accounting software. If you are starting your business and don’t want to part with a couple hundred dollars on Quickbooks software, I recommend MyInvoices & Estimates Deluxe. The software can create invoices, logos, and can calculate taxes.