Florida Senate - 2018                             CS for SB 1608
       By the Committee on Transportation; and Senator Grimsley
       596-02945A-18                                         20181608c1
    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 damaged by certain
    9         natural disasters and agricultural production is
   10         halted or reduced; amending s. 212.08, F.S.; creating
   11         a new exemption from sales, rental, use, consumption,
   12         distribution, and storage tax for specified materials
   13         and labor costs; providing for retroactive
   14         application; specifying the requirements for obtaining
   15         a refund on taxes paid; specifying a deadline for
   16         submissions for such refunds; specifying that
   17         possession of a written certification of a purchaser’s
   18         entitlement to the exemption by a seller, lessor, or
   19         other dealer relieves him or her from the obligation
   20         of collecting the tax on nontaxable amounts; requiring
   21         the department to look solely to the purchaser for the
   22         recovery of certain taxes; creating s. 252.3569, F.S.;
   23         requiring the Florida Comprehensive Emergency
   24         Management Plan to allow the Department of Agriculture
   25         and Consumer Services to create the State Agricultural
   26         Response Team; specifying requirements,
   27         responsibilities, and duties of the team; amending s.
   28         316.565, F.S.; authorizing the Department of
   29         Transportation to waive certain weight load
   30         restrictions and permit verifications for the
   31         transport of agricultural products from fields or
   32         packinghouses to public transportation facilities
   33         after certain natural disasters; authorizing the
   34         extension of such waivers for certain purposes;
   35         authorizing the department to issue or accept
   36         electronic verification of permits during specified
   37         periods; requiring the department to designate certain
   38         routes and render assistance in moving agricultural
   39         products under such circumstances; requiring the
   40         Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to
   41         consult with certain entities in implementing
   42         specified emergency provisions; creating s. 604.71,
   43         F.S.; requiring the Department of Transportation to
   44         create and administer a program to install directional
   45         signs to assist visitors in locating certain
   46         agritourism facilities; specifying requirements for
   47         the placement of signs; specifying qualifications for
   48         the program; requiring the department to adopt rules
   49         and coordinate with the Department of Agriculture and
   50         Consumer Services in administering the program;
   51         providing a directive to the Division of Law Revision
   52         and Information; providing an effective date.
   54  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   56         Section 1. This act may be cited as the “Farmers and
   57  Ranchers Matter Act.
   58         Section 2. Section 193.461, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   59  read:
   60         193.461 Agricultural lands; classification and assessment;
   61  mandated eradication or quarantine program; natural disasters.—
   62         (1) The property appraiser shall, on an annual basis,
   63  classify for assessment purposes all lands within the county as
   64  either agricultural or nonagricultural.
   65         (2) Any landowner whose land is denied agricultural
   66  classification by the property appraiser may appeal to the value
   67  adjustment board. The property appraiser shall notify the
   68  landowner in writing of the denial of agricultural
   69  classification on or before July 1 of the year for which the
   70  application was filed. The notification shall advise the
   71  landowner of his or her right to appeal to the value adjustment
   72  board and of the filing deadline. The property appraiser shall
   73  have available at his or her office a list by ownership of all
   74  applications received showing the acreage, the full valuation
   75  under s. 193.011, the valuation of the land under the provisions
   76  of this section, and whether or not the classification requested
   77  was granted.
   78         (3)(a) Lands may not be classified as agricultural lands
   79  unless a return is filed on or before March 1 of each year.
   80  Before classifying such lands as agricultural lands, the
   81  property appraiser may require the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s
   82  representative to furnish the property appraiser such
   83  information as may reasonably be required to establish that such
   84  lands were actually used for a bona fide agricultural purpose.
   85  Failure to make timely application by March 1 constitutes a
   86  waiver for 1 year of the privilege granted in this section for
   87  agricultural assessment. However, an applicant who is qualified
   88  to receive an agricultural classification who fails to file an
   89  application by March 1 must file an application for the
   90  classification with the property appraiser on or before the 25th
   91  day after the mailing by the property appraiser of the notice
   92  required under s. 194.011(1). Upon receipt of sufficient
   93  evidence, as determined by the property appraiser, that
   94  demonstrates that the applicant was unable to apply for the
   95  classification in a timely manner or that otherwise demonstrates
   96  extenuating circumstances that warrant the granting of the
   97  classification, the property appraiser may grant the
   98  classification. If the applicant files an application for the
   99  classification and fails to provide sufficient evidence to the
  100  property appraiser as required, the applicant may file, pursuant
  101  to s. 194.011(3), a petition with the value adjustment board
  102  requesting that the classification be granted. The petition may
  103  be filed at any time during the taxable year on or before the
  104  25th day following the mailing of the notice by the property
  105  appraiser as provided in s. 194.011(1). Notwithstanding s.
  106  194.013, the applicant must pay a nonrefundable fee of $15 upon
  107  filing the petition. Upon reviewing the petition, if the person
  108  is qualified to receive the classification and demonstrates
  109  particular extenuating circumstances judged by the value
  110  adjustment board to warrant granting the classification, the
  111  value adjustment board may grant the classification for the
  112  current year. The owner of land that was classified agricultural
  113  in the previous year and whose ownership or use has not changed
  114  may reapply on a short form as provided by the department. The
  115  lessee of property may make original application or reapply
  116  using the short form if the lease, or an affidavit executed by
  117  the owner, provides that the lessee is empowered to make
  118  application for the agricultural classification on behalf of the
  119  owner and a copy of the lease or affidavit accompanies the
  120  application. A county may, at the request of the property
  121  appraiser and by a majority vote of its governing body, waive
  122  the requirement that an annual application or statement be made
  123  for classification of property within the county after an
  124  initial application is made and the classification granted by
  125  the property appraiser. Such waiver may be revoked by a majority
  126  vote of the governing body of the county.
  127         (b) Subject to the restrictions specified in this section,
  128  only lands that are used primarily for bona fide agricultural
  129  purposes shall be classified agricultural. The term “bona fide
  130  agricultural purposes” means good faith commercial agricultural
  131  use of the land.
  132         1. In determining whether the use of the land for
  133  agricultural purposes is bona fide, the following factors may be
  134  taken into consideration:
  135         a. The length of time the land has been so used.
  136         b. Whether the use has been continuous.
  137         c. The purchase price paid.
  138         d. Size, as it relates to specific agricultural use, but a
  139  minimum acreage may not be required for agricultural assessment.
  140         e. Whether an indicated effort has been made to care
  141  sufficiently and adequately for the land in accordance with
  142  accepted commercial agricultural practices, including, without
  143  limitation, fertilizing, liming, tilling, mowing, reforesting,
  144  and other accepted agricultural practices.
  145         f. Whether the land is under lease and, if so, the
  146  effective length, terms, and conditions of the lease.
  147         g. Such other factors as may become applicable.
  148         2. Offering property for sale does not constitute a primary
  149  use of land and may not be the basis for denying an agricultural
  150  classification if the land continues to be used primarily for
  151  bona fide agricultural purposes while it is being offered for
  152  sale.
  153         (c) The maintenance of a dwelling on part of the lands used
  154  for agricultural purposes does shall not in itself preclude an
  155  agricultural classification.
  156         (d) When property receiving an agricultural classification
  157  contains a residence under the same ownership, the portion of
  158  the property consisting of the residence and curtilage must be
  159  assessed separately, pursuant to s. 193.011, to qualify for the
  160  assessment limitation set forth in s. 193.155. The remaining
  161  property may be classified under the provisions of paragraphs
  162  (a) and (b).
  163         (e) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a), land
  164  that has received an agricultural classification from the value
  165  adjustment board or a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant
  166  to this section is entitled to receive such classification in
  167  any subsequent year until such agricultural use of the land is
  168  abandoned or discontinued, the land is diverted to a
  169  nonagricultural use, or the land is reclassified as
  170  nonagricultural pursuant to subsection (4). The property
  171  appraiser must, no later than January 31 of each year, provide
  172  notice to the owner of land that was classified agricultural in
  173  the previous year informing the owner of the requirements of
  174  this paragraph and requiring the owner to certify that neither
  175  the ownership nor the use of the land has changed. The
  176  department shall, by administrative rule, prescribe the form of
  177  the notice to be used by the property appraiser under this
  178  paragraph. If a county has waived the requirement that an annual
  179  application or statement be made for classification of property
  180  pursuant to paragraph (a), the county may, by a majority vote of
  181  its governing body, waive the notice and certification
  182  requirements of this paragraph and shall provide the property
  183  owner with the same notification provided to owners of land
  184  granted an agricultural classification by the property
  185  appraiser. Such waiver may be revoked by a majority vote of the
  186  county’s governing body. This paragraph does not apply to any
  187  property if the agricultural classification of that property is
  188  the subject of current litigation.
  189         (4) The property appraiser shall reclassify the following
  190  lands as nonagricultural:
  191         (a) Land diverted from an agricultural to a nonagricultural
  192  use.
  193         (b) Land no longer being utilized for agricultural
  194  purposes.
  195         (5) For the purpose of this section, the term “agricultural
  196  purposes” includes, but is not limited to, horticulture;
  197  floriculture; viticulture; forestry; dairy; livestock; poultry;
  198  bee; pisciculture, if the land is used principally for the
  199  production of tropical fish; aquaculture, including algaculture;
  200  sod farming; and all forms of farm products as defined in s.
  201  823.14(3) and farm production.
  202         (6)(a) In years in which proper application for
  203  agricultural assessment has been made and granted pursuant to
  204  this section, the assessment of land shall be based solely on
  205  its agricultural use. The property appraiser shall consider the
  206  following use factors only:
  207         1. The quantity and size of the property;
  208         2. The condition of the property;
  209         3. The present market value of the property as agricultural
  210  land;
  211         4. The income produced by the property;
  212         5. The productivity of land in its present use;
  213         6. The economic merchantability of the agricultural
  214  product; and
  215         7. Such other agricultural factors as may from time to time
  216  become applicable, which are reflective of the standard present
  217  practices of agricultural use and production.
  218         (b) Notwithstanding any provision relating to annual
  219  assessment found in s. 192.042, the property appraiser shall
  220  rely on 5-year moving average data when utilizing the income
  221  methodology approach in an assessment of property used for
  222  agricultural purposes.
  223         (c)1. For purposes of the income methodology approach to
  224  assessment of property used for agricultural purposes,
  225  irrigation systems, including pumps and motors, physically
  226  attached to the land shall be considered a part of the average
  227  yields per acre and shall have no separately assessable
  228  contributory value.
  229         2. Litter containment structures located on producing
  230  poultry farms and animal waste nutrient containment structures
  231  located on producing dairy farms shall be assessed by the
  232  methodology described in subparagraph 1.
  233         3. Structures or improvements used in horticultural
  234  production for frost or freeze protection, which are consistent
  235  with the interim measures or best management practices adopted
  236  by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services pursuant
  237  to s. 570.93 or s. 403.067(7)(c), shall be assessed by the
  238  methodology described in subparagraph 1.
  239         4.Screened enclosed structures used in horticultural
  240  production for protection from pests and diseases or to comply
  241  with state or federal eradication or compliance agreements shall
  242  be assessed by the methodology described in subparagraph 1.
  243         (d) In years in which proper application for agricultural
  244  assessment has not been made, the land shall be assessed under
  245  the provisions of s. 193.011.
  246         (7)(a) Lands classified for assessment purposes as
  247  agricultural lands which are taken out of production by a state
  248  or federal eradication or quarantine program, including the
  249  Citrus Health Response Program, shall continue to be classified
  250  as agricultural lands for 5 years after the date of execution of
  251  a compliance agreement between the landowner and the Department
  252  of Agriculture and Consumer Services or a federal agency, as
  253  applicable, pursuant to such program or successor programs.
  254  Lands under these programs which are converted to fallow or
  255  otherwise nonincome-producing uses shall continue to be
  256  classified as agricultural lands and shall be assessed at a de
  257  minimis value of up to $50 per acre on a single-year assessment
  258  methodology while fallow or otherwise used for nonincome
  259  producing purposes. Lands under these programs which are
  260  replanted in citrus pursuant to the requirements of the
  261  compliance agreement shall continue to be classified as
  262  agricultural lands and shall be assessed at a de minimis value
  263  of up to $50 per acre, on a single-year assessment methodology,
  264  during the 5-year term of agreement. However, lands converted to
  265  other income-producing agricultural uses permissible under such
  266  programs shall be assessed pursuant to this section. Land under
  267  a mandated eradication or quarantine program which is diverted
  268  from an agricultural to a nonagricultural use shall be assessed
  269  under s. 193.011.
  270         (b) Lands classified for assessment purposes as
  271  agricultural lands that participate in a dispersed water storage
  272  program pursuant to a contract with the Department of
  273  Environmental Protection or a water management district which
  274  requires flooding of land shall continue to be classified as
  275  agricultural lands for the duration of the inclusion of the
  276  lands in such program or successor programs and shall be
  277  assessed as nonproductive agricultural lands. Land that
  278  participates in a dispersed water storage program that is
  279  diverted from an agricultural to a nonagricultural use shall be
  280  assessed under s. 193.011.
  281         (c)Lands classified for assessment purposes as
  282  agricultural lands which incur damage as a result of a natural
  283  disaster for which a state of emergency is declared pursuant to
  284  s. 252.36 and which results in the halting or reduction of
  285  agricultural production must continue to be classified as
  286  agricultural lands for 5 years following termination of the
  287  emergency declaration. However, if such lands are diverted from
  288  agricultural use to nonagricultural use during or after the 5
  289  year recovery period, such lands must be assessed under s.
  290  193.011.
  291         Section 3. Subsection (19) is added to section 212.08,
  292  Florida Statutes, to read:
  293         212.08 Sales, rental, use, consumption, distribution, and
  294  storage tax; specified exemptions.—The sale at retail, the
  295  rental, the use, the consumption, the distribution, and the
  296  storage to be used or consumed in this state of the following
  297  are hereby specifically exempt from the tax imposed by this
  298  chapter.
  301         (a)The following are exempt from the tax imposed by this
  302  chapter.
  303         1.Building materials used in the construction of a
  304  nonresidential farm building as defined in s. 604.50; poles,
  305  nets, and other materials used for aquaculture leases; and
  306  building materials used in the construction of farm fences on
  307  land classified as agriculture as defined in s. 193.461; and
  308         2.The cost of labor associated with the construction or
  309  installation of any item specified in subparagraph 1.
  311  The exemptions specified in this paragraph apply retroactively
  312  to September 1, 2017.
  313         (b)In order to claim a refund on taxes paid for the
  314  materials and labor costs identified in paragraph (a), the
  315  purchaser must submit a signed certificate stating that the
  316  materials and labor are to be used exclusively as required under
  317  this subsection. Such submission must also include the name and
  318  address of the person claiming the refund, the address and
  319  assessment roll parcel number of the real property where the
  320  improvement is made, and a description of the improvement.
  321  Application for refunds must be submitted to the department
  322  within 6 months after the transaction or the effective date of
  323  this act, whichever occurs later.
  324         (c)Possession by a seller, lessor, or other dealer of a
  325  written certification by the purchaser certifying the
  326  purchaser’s entitlement to an exemption allowed under this
  327  subsection relieves the seller from the responsibility of
  328  collecting the tax on the nontaxable amounts, and the department
  329  shall look solely to the purchaser for recovery of such tax if
  330  it determines that the purchaser was not entitled to the
  331  exemption.
  332         Section 4. Section 252.3569, Florida Statutes, is created
  333  to read:
  334         252.3569 Monitoring of agriculture and livestock safety
  335  during disaster.—The Florida Comprehensive Emergency Management
  336  Plan must allow the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
  337  Services, working from the department’s offices or in the
  338  Emergency Operations Center, ESF-17, to create the State
  339  Agricultural Response Team. If created, the duties and
  340  responsibilities of the team must include, but are not limited
  341  to, the development, training, and support of county
  342  agricultural response teams; asset acquisition; and, as
  343  necessary, colocation of a team member at activated local
  344  emergency operations centers.
  345         Section 5. Section 316.565, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  346  read:
  347         316.565 Emergency transportation, crops and livestock
  348  perishable food; establishment of weight loads, etc.—
  349         (1) The Governor may declare an emergency to exist when
  350  there is a breakdown in the normal public transportation
  351  facilities necessary in moving perishable food crops grown and
  352  livestock raised in the state. The Department of Transportation
  353  is authorized during such emergency to waive any establish such
  354  weight load restrictions and permit verifications loads for
  355  hauling over the highways from the fields or packinghouses to
  356  the nearest available public transportation facility as
  357  circumstances demand. Such waivers may be extended beyond the
  358  end of a declared emergency to provide for protracted harvesting
  359  and disaster recovery efforts. The department is authorized to
  360  issue or accept electronic verification of permits during such
  361  emergency and protracted periods. The Department of
  362  Transportation shall designate special highway routes, excluding
  363  the interstate highway system, to facilitate the trucking and
  364  render any other assistance needed to expedite moving
  365  agricultural products the perishables.
  366         (2) It is the intent of the Legislature in this chapter to
  367  supersede any existing laws when necessary to protect and save
  368  any perishable food crops grown and livestock raised in the
  369  state and give authority for agencies to provide necessary
  370  temporary assistance requested during any such emergency. The
  371  department shall consult with the Department of Agriculture and
  372  Consumer Services and stakeholders in the agricultural industry
  373  in implementing this section.
  374         Section 6. Section 604.71, Florida Statutes, is created to
  375  read:
  376         604.71 Florida agritourism signage program.—The department
  377  shall create and administer a program to provide and install
  378  directional signs on major public highways at, or in reasonable
  379  proximity to, the nearest interchange or within 1 mile of roads
  380  leading to commercial agricultural facilities that promote
  381  tourism by providing tours and onsite sales or samples of
  382  Florida agricultural products to tourists.
  383         (1)Directional signage must be placed at intervals in a
  384  manner that provides visitors with sufficient information to
  385  locate the agricultural facility.
  386         (2)To qualify for participation in the program, an
  387  agricultural facility must:
  388         (a)Be open for business at least 4 days a week, 10 months
  389  of the year;
  390         (b)Have a working growing or ranching area of at least 2
  391  acres that can be toured from the facility location specified in
  392  the signage;
  393         (c)Offer tours of the growing or ranching area; and
  394         (d)Apply to and be approved by the department under this
  395  section. Upon application by a facility, the department shall
  396  assess the facility as to its suitability for the program and
  397  the reasonable costs of creating and installing directional
  398  signs.
  399         (3)The department shall adopt rules to administer this
  400  section, including, but not limited to, an application and
  401  approval process for applicants.
  402         (4)The department shall coordinate with the Department of
  403  Agriculture and Consumer Services in administering this section.
  404         Section 7. The Division of Law Revision and Information is
  405  directed to replace the phrase “the effective date of this act”
  406  wherever it occurs in this act with the date this act becomes a
  407  law.
  408         Section 8. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.