Gov. Crist signed HB 909 into law June 18, which contains several important provisions that affect the Greenbelt law. The first change revises the criteria that property appraisers must use to classify agricultural lands for Greenbelt. This change was labeled as the “size really does not matter amendment.” In the past, property appraisers could set minimum acreages for agricultural properties to qualify for the Greenbelt assessment. Those minimum acreages differed from county to county for growers of the same crops to qualify. This amendment removes those requirements by stating that “in no event shall a minimum acreage be required for agricultural assessment.”
The second important provision changes the make up of value adjustment boards. Value adjustment boards have been comprised of three county commissioners and two school board members in each county, but HB909 replaces one county commissioner and one school board member with one citizen member who owns homestead property and one citizen member who owns a business occupying commercial space located in the county. This change will put real people who pay property taxes and are not elected county officials on each county value adjustment board.
The third important provision changes the burden of proof that a taxpayer needs to prove that the property appraiser’s assessment is not supported by any reasonable hypothesis of a legal assessment.
For further information, producer members may contact the FFVA Government Affairs Office at (850) 521-0455.