Florida Senate - 2018              PROPOSED COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE
       Bill No. CS for SB 1608
       Proposed Committee Substitute by the Committee on Appropriations
       (Appropriations Subcommittee on Finance and Tax)
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to agricultural recovery; providing a
    3         short title; amending s. 193.461, F.S.; specifying the
    4         methodology for the assessment of certain structures
    5         in horticultural production; specifying, subject to
    6         certain conditions, that land classified as
    7         agricultural remains classified as such for a
    8         specified period if such lands are not being used for
    9         agricultural production as a result of certain natural
   10         disasters; providing for retroactive application;
   11         amending s. 212.08, F.S.; creating a new exemption
   12         from the sales, rental, use, consumption,
   13         distribution, and storage tax for specified materials;
   14         specifying that such exemption is only available
   15         through a refund of previously paid taxes; specifying
   16         the effective date of the exemption; defining the term
   17         “building materials”; specifying the requirements for
   18         obtaining a refund on taxes paid; specifying a
   19         deadline for the submission of applications for such
   20         refunds; providing a penalty for filing a false
   21         affidavit; authorizing the department to adopt
   22         emergency rules; providing for future expiration of
   23         the emergency rulemaking authority; creating s.
   24         252.3569, F.S.; providing legislative findings;
   25         establishing a state agricultural response team within
   26         the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services;
   27         specifying the duties of the team; amending s.
   28         316.565, F.S.; revising the Governor’s authority, to
   29         include agricultural products instead of only
   30         perishable food, in declaring an emergency relating to
   31         the transport of such products when there is a
   32         breakdown in the normal public transportation
   33         facilities necessary to move such products;
   34         authorizing the Department of Transportation to issue,
   35         and specified law enforcement officers to accept,
   36         electronic verification of permits during a declared
   37         state of emergency; providing that such permits are
   38         valid for up to a specified period of time, but no
   39         longer than the duration of the declared state of
   40         emergency or any extension thereof; requiring the
   41         Department of Transportation to consult with the
   42         Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and
   43         stakeholders in the agricultural industry in
   44         implementing emergency transportation assistance for
   45         agricultural products; providing an appropriation;
   46         providing a directive to the Division of Law Revision
   47         and Information; providing an effective date.
   49  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   51         Section 1. This act may be cited as the “Farmers and
   52  Ranchers Matter Act.
   53         Section 2. Section 193.461, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   54  read:
   55         193.461 Agricultural lands; classification and assessment;
   56  mandated eradication or quarantine program; natural disasters.—
   57         (1) The property appraiser shall, on an annual basis,
   58  classify for assessment purposes all lands within the county as
   59  either agricultural or nonagricultural.
   60         (2) Any landowner whose land is denied agricultural
   61  classification by the property appraiser may appeal to the value
   62  adjustment board. The property appraiser shall notify the
   63  landowner in writing of the denial of agricultural
   64  classification on or before July 1 of the year for which the
   65  application was filed. The notification shall advise the
   66  landowner of his or her right to appeal to the value adjustment
   67  board and of the filing deadline. The property appraiser shall
   68  have available at his or her office a list by ownership of all
   69  applications received showing the acreage, the full valuation
   70  under s. 193.011, the valuation of the land under the provisions
   71  of this section, and whether or not the classification requested
   72  was granted.
   73         (3)(a) Lands may not be classified as agricultural lands
   74  unless a return is filed on or before March 1 of each year.
   75  Before classifying such lands as agricultural lands, the
   76  property appraiser may require the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s
   77  representative to furnish the property appraiser such
   78  information as may reasonably be required to establish that such
   79  lands were actually used for a bona fide agricultural purpose.
   80  Failure to make timely application by March 1 constitutes a
   81  waiver for 1 year of the privilege granted in this section for
   82  agricultural assessment. However, an applicant who is qualified
   83  to receive an agricultural classification who fails to file an
   84  application by March 1 must file an application for the
   85  classification with the property appraiser on or before the 25th
   86  day after the mailing by the property appraiser of the notice
   87  required under s. 194.011(1). Upon receipt of sufficient
   88  evidence, as determined by the property appraiser, that
   89  demonstrates that the applicant was unable to apply for the
   90  classification in a timely manner or that otherwise demonstrates
   91  extenuating circumstances that warrant the granting of the
   92  classification, the property appraiser may grant the
   93  classification. If the applicant files an application for the
   94  classification and fails to provide sufficient evidence to the
   95  property appraiser as required, the applicant may file, pursuant
   96  to s. 194.011(3), a petition with the value adjustment board
   97  requesting that the classification be granted. The petition may
   98  be filed at any time during the taxable year on or before the
   99  25th day following the mailing of the notice by the property
  100  appraiser as provided in s. 194.011(1). Notwithstanding s.
  101  194.013, the applicant must pay a nonrefundable fee of $15 upon
  102  filing the petition. Upon reviewing the petition, if the person
  103  is qualified to receive the classification and demonstrates
  104  particular extenuating circumstances judged by the value
  105  adjustment board to warrant granting the classification, the
  106  value adjustment board may grant the classification for the
  107  current year. The owner of land that was classified agricultural
  108  in the previous year and whose ownership or use has not changed
  109  may reapply on a short form as provided by the department. The
  110  lessee of property may make original application or reapply
  111  using the short form if the lease, or an affidavit executed by
  112  the owner, provides that the lessee is empowered to make
  113  application for the agricultural classification on behalf of the
  114  owner and a copy of the lease or affidavit accompanies the
  115  application. A county may, at the request of the property
  116  appraiser and by a majority vote of its governing body, waive
  117  the requirement that an annual application or statement be made
  118  for classification of property within the county after an
  119  initial application is made and the classification granted by
  120  the property appraiser. Such waiver may be revoked by a majority
  121  vote of the governing body of the county.
  122         (b) Subject to the restrictions specified in this section,
  123  only lands that are used primarily for bona fide agricultural
  124  purposes shall be classified agricultural. The term “bona fide
  125  agricultural purposes” means good faith commercial agricultural
  126  use of the land.
  127         1. In determining whether the use of the land for
  128  agricultural purposes is bona fide, the following factors may be
  129  taken into consideration:
  130         a. The length of time the land has been so used.
  131         b. Whether the use has been continuous.
  132         c. The purchase price paid.
  133         d. Size, as it relates to specific agricultural use, but a
  134  minimum acreage may not be required for agricultural assessment.
  135         e. Whether an indicated effort has been made to care
  136  sufficiently and adequately for the land in accordance with
  137  accepted commercial agricultural practices, including, without
  138  limitation, fertilizing, liming, tilling, mowing, reforesting,
  139  and other accepted agricultural practices.
  140         f. Whether the land is under lease and, if so, the
  141  effective length, terms, and conditions of the lease.
  142         g. Such other factors as may become applicable.
  143         2. Offering property for sale does not constitute a primary
  144  use of land and may not be the basis for denying an agricultural
  145  classification if the land continues to be used primarily for
  146  bona fide agricultural purposes while it is being offered for
  147  sale.
  148         (c) The maintenance of a dwelling on part of the lands used
  149  for agricultural purposes does shall not in itself preclude an
  150  agricultural classification.
  151         (d) When property receiving an agricultural classification
  152  contains a residence under the same ownership, the portion of
  153  the property consisting of the residence and curtilage must be
  154  assessed separately, pursuant to s. 193.011, to qualify for the
  155  assessment limitation set forth in s. 193.155. The remaining
  156  property may be classified under the provisions of paragraphs
  157  (a) and (b).
  158         (e) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a), land
  159  that has received an agricultural classification from the value
  160  adjustment board or a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant
  161  to this section is entitled to receive such classification in
  162  any subsequent year until such agricultural use of the land is
  163  abandoned or discontinued, the land is diverted to a
  164  nonagricultural use, or the land is reclassified as
  165  nonagricultural pursuant to subsection (4). The property
  166  appraiser must, no later than January 31 of each year, provide
  167  notice to the owner of land that was classified agricultural in
  168  the previous year informing the owner of the requirements of
  169  this paragraph and requiring the owner to certify that neither
  170  the ownership nor the use of the land has changed. The
  171  department shall, by administrative rule, prescribe the form of
  172  the notice to be used by the property appraiser under this
  173  paragraph. If a county has waived the requirement that an annual
  174  application or statement be made for classification of property
  175  pursuant to paragraph (a), the county may, by a majority vote of
  176  its governing body, waive the notice and certification
  177  requirements of this paragraph and shall provide the property
  178  owner with the same notification provided to owners of land
  179  granted an agricultural classification by the property
  180  appraiser. Such waiver may be revoked by a majority vote of the
  181  county’s governing body. This paragraph does not apply to any
  182  property if the agricultural classification of that property is
  183  the subject of current litigation.
  184         (4) The property appraiser shall reclassify the following
  185  lands as nonagricultural:
  186         (a) Land diverted from an agricultural to a nonagricultural
  187  use.
  188         (b) Land no longer being utilized for agricultural
  189  purposes.
  190         (5) For the purpose of this section, the term “agricultural
  191  purposes” includes, but is not limited to, horticulture;
  192  floriculture; viticulture; forestry; dairy; livestock; poultry;
  193  bee; pisciculture, if the land is used principally for the
  194  production of tropical fish; aquaculture, including algaculture;
  195  sod farming; and all forms of farm products as defined in s.
  196  823.14(3) and farm production.
  197         (6)(a) In years in which proper application for
  198  agricultural assessment has been made and granted pursuant to
  199  this section, the assessment of land shall be based solely on
  200  its agricultural use. The property appraiser shall consider the
  201  following use factors only:
  202         1. The quantity and size of the property;
  203         2. The condition of the property;
  204         3. The present market value of the property as agricultural
  205  land;
  206         4. The income produced by the property;
  207         5. The productivity of land in its present use;
  208         6. The economic merchantability of the agricultural
  209  product; and
  210         7. Such other agricultural factors as may from time to time
  211  become applicable, which are reflective of the standard present
  212  practices of agricultural use and production.
  213         (b) Notwithstanding any provision relating to annual
  214  assessment found in s. 192.042, the property appraiser shall
  215  rely on 5-year moving average data when utilizing the income
  216  methodology approach in an assessment of property used for
  217  agricultural purposes.
  218         (c)1. For purposes of the income methodology approach to
  219  assessment of property used for agricultural purposes,
  220  irrigation systems, including pumps and motors, physically
  221  attached to the land shall be considered a part of the average
  222  yields per acre and shall have no separately assessable
  223  contributory value.
  224         2. Litter containment structures located on producing
  225  poultry farms and animal waste nutrient containment structures
  226  located on producing dairy farms shall be assessed by the
  227  methodology described in subparagraph 1.
  228         3. Structures or improvements used in horticultural
  229  production for frost or freeze protection, which are consistent
  230  with the interim measures or best management practices adopted
  231  by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services pursuant
  232  to s. 570.93 or s. 403.067(7)(c), shall be assessed by the
  233  methodology described in subparagraph 1.
  234         4.Screened enclosed structures used in horticultural
  235  production for protection from pests and diseases or to comply
  236  with state or federal eradication or compliance agreements shall
  237  be assessed by the methodology described in subparagraph 1.
  238         (d) In years in which proper application for agricultural
  239  assessment has not been made, the land shall be assessed under
  240  the provisions of s. 193.011.
  241         (7)(a) Lands classified for assessment purposes as
  242  agricultural lands which are taken out of production by a state
  243  or federal eradication or quarantine program, including the
  244  Citrus Health Response Program, shall continue to be classified
  245  as agricultural lands for 5 years after the date of execution of
  246  a compliance agreement between the landowner and the Department
  247  of Agriculture and Consumer Services or a federal agency, as
  248  applicable, pursuant to such program or successor programs.
  249  Lands under these programs which are converted to fallow or
  250  otherwise nonincome-producing uses shall continue to be
  251  classified as agricultural lands and shall be assessed at a de
  252  minimis value of up to $50 per acre on a single-year assessment
  253  methodology while fallow or otherwise used for nonincome
  254  producing purposes. Lands under these programs which are
  255  replanted in citrus pursuant to the requirements of the
  256  compliance agreement shall continue to be classified as
  257  agricultural lands and shall be assessed at a de minimis value
  258  of up to $50 per acre, on a single-year assessment methodology,
  259  during the 5-year term of agreement. However, lands converted to
  260  other income-producing agricultural uses permissible under such
  261  programs shall be assessed pursuant to this section. Land under
  262  a mandated eradication or quarantine program which is diverted
  263  from an agricultural to a nonagricultural use shall be assessed
  264  under s. 193.011.
  265         (b) Lands classified for assessment purposes as
  266  agricultural lands that participate in a dispersed water storage
  267  program pursuant to a contract with the Department of
  268  Environmental Protection or a water management district which
  269  requires flooding of land shall continue to be classified as
  270  agricultural lands for the duration of the inclusion of the
  271  lands in such program or successor programs and shall be
  272  assessed as nonproductive agricultural lands. Land that
  273  participates in a dispersed water storage program that is
  274  diverted from an agricultural to a nonagricultural use shall be
  275  assessed under s. 193.011.
  276         (c)Lands classified for assessment purposes as
  277  agricultural lands which are not being used for agricultural
  278  production as a result of a natural disaster for which a state
  279  of emergency is declared pursuant to s. 252.36, when such
  280  disaster results in the halting of agricultural production, must
  281  continue to be classified as agricultural lands for 5 years
  282  following termination of the emergency declaration. However, if
  283  such lands are diverted from agricultural use to nonagricultural
  284  use during or after the 5-year recovery period, such lands must
  285  be assessed under s. 193.011. This paragraph applies
  286  retroactively to natural disasters that occurred on or after
  287  July 1, 2017.
  288         Section 3. Subsection (19) is added to section 212.08,
  289  Florida Statutes, to read:
  290         212.08 Sales, rental, use, consumption, distribution, and
  291  storage tax; specified exemptions.—The sale at retail, the
  292  rental, the use, the consumption, the distribution, and the
  293  storage to be used or consumed in this state of the following
  294  are hereby specifically exempt from the tax imposed by this
  295  chapter.
  298         (a)Building materials used in the construction of a
  299  nonresidential farm building as defined in s. 604.50; poles,
  300  nets, and other materials used for aquaculture leases; and
  301  fencing materials used in the construction of farm fences on
  302  land classified as agricultural under s. 193.461 are exempt from
  303  the tax imposed under this chapter. The exemption provided in
  304  this subsection is available only through a refund of previously
  305  paid taxes and is available only for materials purchased on or
  306  after September 1, 2017.
  307         (b) For purposes of the exemption provided in this
  308  subsection, the term “building materials” means tangible
  309  personal property that becomes a component part of a
  310  nonresidential farm building.
  311         (c)To receive a refund pursuant to this subsection, the
  312  owner of the materials or the real property into which the
  313  materials will be or were incorporated must apply to the
  314  department within 6 months after the transaction or the
  315  effective date of this act, whichever occurs later. The refund
  316  application must include the following information:
  317         1. An affidavit executed by the owner of the materials or
  318  the real property into which the materials will be or were
  319  incorporated, including a statement that the materials were or
  320  will be used exclusively as required under this subsection.
  321         2.The name and address of the person claiming the refund.
  322         3. The address and assessment roll parcel number of the
  323  real property where the improvement is made.
  324         4.A description of the improvement.
  325         5.The sales invoice or other proof of purchase of the
  326  materials, showing the amount of sales tax paid, the date of
  327  purchase, and the name and address of the dealer from whom the
  328  materials were purchased.
  329         (d)A person who furnishes a false affidavit to the
  330  department in an application submitted pursuant to paragraph (c)
  331  is subject to the penalty specified in s. 212.085 and as
  332  otherwise provided by law.
  333         Section 4. (1)The Department of Revenue may, and all
  334  conditions are deemed met to, adopt emergency rules pursuant to
  335  ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, to implement s.
  336  212.08(19), Florida Statutes.
  337         (2)This section expires January 1, 2024.
  338         Section 5. Section 252.3569, Florida Statutes, is created
  339  to read:
  340         252.3569Florida state agricultural response team.—The
  341  Legislature finds that the Department of Agriculture and
  342  Consumer Services is the lead agency for animal, agricultural,
  343  and vector issues in Florida during emergency or disaster
  344  situations, as described by the Florida Comprehensive Emergency
  345  Management Plan. Pursuant to this responsibility, there is
  346  established within the department a state agricultural response
  347  team. Duties of the team include, but are not limited to:
  348         (1)Oversight of the emergency management functions of
  349  preparedness, recovery, mitigation, and response with all
  350  agencies and organizations that are involved with the state’s
  351  response activities to animal, agricultural, and vector issues;
  352         (2)Development, training, and support of county
  353  agricultural response teams; and
  354         (3)Staffing the Emergency Support Function 17 at the State
  355  Emergency Operations Center and staffing as necessary at county
  356  emergency operations centers.
  357         Section 6. Section 316.565, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  358  read:
  359         316.565 Emergency transportation, agricultural products
  360  perishable food; establishment of weight loads, etc.—
  361         (1) The Governor may declare an emergency to exist when
  362  there is a breakdown in the normal public transportation
  363  facilities necessary in moving agricultural products, as defined
  364  in s. 604.60, perishable food crops grown in the state. The
  365  Department of Transportation is authorized during such emergency
  366  to establish such weight loads for hauling over the highways
  367  from the fields or packinghouses to the nearest available public
  368  transportation facility as circumstances demand. The Department
  369  of Transportation may issue, and any law enforcement officer
  370  authorized to enforce the traffic laws of this state may accept,
  371  electronic verification of permits during such an emergency. A
  372  permit issued pursuant to this section is valid for up to 60
  373  days; however, the validity of the permit may not exceed the
  374  period of the declared state of emergency or any extension
  375  thereof. The Department of Transportation shall designate
  376  special highway routes, excluding the interstate highway system,
  377  to facilitate the trucking and render any other assistance
  378  needed to expedite moving the agricultural products perishables.
  379         (2) It is the intent of the Legislature in this chapter to
  380  supersede any existing laws when necessary to protect and save
  381  any agricultural products perishable food crops grown in the
  382  state and give authority for agencies to provide necessary
  383  temporary assistance requested during any such emergency. The
  384  department shall consult with the Department of Agriculture and
  385  Consumer Services and stakeholders in the agricultural industry
  386  in implementing this section.
  387         Section 7. For the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the sum of $5
  388  million in nonrecurring funds from the General Revenue Fund is
  389  appropriated to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
  390  Services for the Florida Agriculture Promotion Campaign to
  391  expand initiatives promoting agricultural products of this
  392  state.
  393         Section 8. The Division of Law Revision and Information is
  394  directed to replace the phrase “the effective date of this act”
  395  wherever it occurs in this act with the date this act becomes a
  396  law.
  397         Section 9. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.