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Troy
04-08-2009, 11:02 PM
I had a person call me last year and ask how many hives it would take to maintain an ag exemption on her property.

I do not know the answer.

If anyone else has some idea on this - I sure am curious too.

Ross
04-08-2009, 11:37 PM
The appraiser's handbook in Texas expressly excludes bees from ag exemptions. They cite a court case down near the coast that said in effect "a bee is not a cow", i.e. you can't claim grazing bees as ag. You can take the area the hives actually take up plus your extraction area. Your state may be different.

JohnK and Sheri
04-08-2009, 11:44 PM
It must vary by state. We had someone last year buy a couple/few hives from us so he could claim his rural property as agriculture, rather than as recreational. I don't know how many it takes for how much land, though; don't even remember how many he bought.
Sheri

Michael Palmer
04-09-2009, 05:45 AM
Property taxes are controlled by the states. Each is different. In Vermont, you must make at least $2500 on your land from agricultural endeavors to qualify for an agricultural property tax classification.

wildbranch2007
04-09-2009, 06:34 AM
in Mass. you needed 5 acres and $500 gross income, pretty reasonable,
in N.Y. 7 or more acres need 10,000, less than 7 acres need 50,000, ya think they don't want too many exemptions.

mike

summer1052
04-09-2009, 10:35 AM
I *DID* get an ag exemption for my bees here in TX -- BUT:

I also provided a to scale layout of my property divided and labeled in sections. Each section has a listing of what plants I have or will add to help provide "forage" for the girls. Fruit trees, shrubs, vines, flowers, clover, buckwheat, vetch etc. were all laid out. Gardens, fields, etc.

In addition, I provided a basic marketing plan on how we will sell honey in the area, and a list of value added products (candles, soap, etc) that can be sold. The potential for future pollination contracts was mentioned.

We made a point of showing: This is a business, like a cattle rancher raising specific crosses for the beef or breeding markets, planning on selling X number of head per year.

We worked on it over 2 months.

We also have talked with out local USDA Extension Agent, and the USDA Soil and Water Conservation Agent about improvements. The Extension agent now gives out our name for swarm calls. The Conservation Agent was thrilled we weren't going to plant row crops, and wanted to improve the soils. Getting them on board our plans made the Tax Office give the go ahead.

It can be done. The Handbook for TX lists things like X number of Pecan trees per acre, or peach trees. Heads of cattle, sheep or goats per acre, etc. Since we started with 10.5 acres, none of those were feasable. But X number of hives, supported by X amount of forage that WE WILL PROVIDE was okay.

By approaching it as a business venture, it went fine. A Hobbyist asking for an ag exemption would raise their red flags.

Find a County Commisioner to buy coffee. Or the Extension Agent. Both! Chat them up. Talk about how agriculture locally will improve if bees for pollination are around. Ask how many queries the extension agent has had for LOCAL honey. But don't be surprised if they want you to have a minimum of 10 acres and 5 hives.

Good Luck
SUmmer

Troy
04-09-2009, 10:04 PM
Thanks for all the input here. I agree that it has to appear to be more than a hobby.

Still on the other hand people here in FL plant row upon row of pine trees and get one. Pine trees are not a very engaging line of work, but if that Pine trees counts, then certainly there ought to be a way to make a bee endeavor work.

Ardilla
04-10-2009, 10:04 AM
Thanks for all the input here. I agree that it has to appear to be more than a hobby.

Not necessarily...

I got a dryland agriculture exemption for the land where I have two hives. It took a conversation with the county assessor and filling out a form. On the form, I simply put "Apiary" for the agricultural use blank. I did not have to say how many hives, income generated, or anything else. Also, there aren't any reporting requirements. I will loose the exemption if I build a house or irrigate the land.

The assessor was used to these exemptions for grazing and farming but hadn't ever done one for beekeeping. In the end, my property tax on 4 acres is $5 per year rather than the normal percentage of the land value. The tax break is paying for the hobby.

Tom G. Laury
04-10-2009, 10:09 AM
Coming from someone who is actually in business, and who pays my FAIR SHARE of taxes to support public services that we all benefit from, I resent your attempts to avoid paying your fair share by invoking an exemption intended for someone who is dependent on bees for a living.:no:

Gene Weitzel
04-10-2009, 10:29 AM
Coming from someone who is actually in business, and who pays my FAIR SHARE of taxes to support public services that we all benefit from, I resent your attempts to avoid paying your fair share by invoking an exemption intended for someone who is dependent on bees for a living.:no:

Tom, I can agree 100% with your sentiment. But on the other hand, when the Central Appraisal District uses every gimmick they can to over access our properties (I have yet to reside in a county in Texas where it does not occur), I can't be too critical of those who have found a loophole to counteract them. It used to be that you could successfully contest them, but anymore they seem to have too much influence on the arbitrators and it is rare for them to vote against the county.

Tom G. Laury
04-10-2009, 10:36 AM
What did Leona Helmsley say? Something like: " Only the little people pay taxes." I guess it just comes down to what ever your conscience will let you live with.

JohnK and Sheri
04-10-2009, 11:09 AM
I look at this exemption as an environmental benefit. If property taxes are high owners might have to sell off some to developers to pay taxes, where lower taxes might encourage the land to stay in a more natural state. As a taxpayer, I am happy to subsidize this program. Of course, if the landowners would subsidize themselves, well, that's better yet.:)
Sheri

Tom G. Laury
04-10-2009, 11:19 AM
Well Sheri out here the counties are struggling to provide basic services. The countryside (?) is nothing but starve your horse slowly 10 acre ranchettes and they all want to call it a farm and avoid as many taxes as they can. Meanwhile even a small operator like me pays thousands of dollars each year in RE, PP, and income taxes. The environmental benefit occurs when for instance a large cattle ranch can stay in business because of Williamson act or other assistance, not from people who stretch the intent of these exemptions.

Gene Weitzel
04-10-2009, 11:23 AM
I look at this exemption as an environmental benefit. If property taxes are high owners might have to sell off some to developers to pay taxes, where lower taxes might encourage the land to stay in a more natural state. As a taxpayer, I am happy to subsidize this program. Of course, if the landowners would subsidize themselves, well, that's better yet.:)
Sheri

Actually in Texas, thats a very good way to look at it because its not really an exemption so much as a deferment. If the land is converted to other use, all the tax savings that have accrued from the time it was first designated agricultural use are rolled over into the first year and have to be paid by the current owner. When a developer looks at a parcel of land that has been designated as ag use for 40 years, the tax bill for converting it to residential use can dissuade them from purchasing it. I have seen it happen.

JohnBeeMan
04-10-2009, 11:31 AM
>>>who pays my FAIR SHARE of taxes to support public services

If one is entitled to take an exemption, I would not consider that as taking an unfair advantage. A fair share is paying what is due , no more nor less.

Tom G. Laury
04-10-2009, 11:49 AM
Are a good simile;
John that's true, the rules can work both for and against you.

But it's also true (human nature) that the player with the fastest cart always has a good lie.:p

If you don't think ag exemptions get abused you're kidding yourself.

Ross
04-10-2009, 04:42 PM
Actually in Texas, thats a very good way to look at it because its not really an exemption so much as a deferment. If the land is converted to other use, all the tax savings that have accrued from the time it was first designated agricultural use are rolled over into the first year and have to be paid by the current owner. When a developer looks at a parcel of land that has been designated as ag use for 40 years, the tax bill for converting it to residential use can dissuade them from purchasing it. I have seen it happen.Actually, they can only go back 7 years I believe.

Tom G. Laury
04-10-2009, 08:49 PM
Sounds just like what we call the Williamson Act, although I thought that was a state measure. Lower prop tax for ag use.

AmericasBeekeeper
01-04-2012, 10:00 PM
I did some research and it varies by county in Florida. Row crops and nurseries are one acre minimum plus one acre for the residence.
"Any residence on the property causes one acre to be removed from the agriculture classification. This acre is assessed at the current market value and is referred to as a home site.
For a bee/honey operation you must be a registered Florida Beekeeper and have your own, or have access to, honey extracting equipment, hive building and repair facility, etc."
One acre homestead and the rest "greenbelt" for apiculture.

BeeGhost
01-04-2012, 11:27 PM
Sounds just like what we call the Williamson Act, although I thought that was a state measure. Lower prop tax for ag use.

Thank God for the Williamson Act or there would be a lot of Ted Turners buying up ranches that have been in the family for generations but the kids couldnt afford the "new" tax assessment after it was inherited.

I think the hard working blue collar man like you and I and of course others, should get as many tax breaks as possible. It will make up for those inner city hoodlums that sit on the couch watching government paid TV, in a government paid heated/airconditioned government subsidized house, eating goverment subsidized food and waiting for their tax free government check to come in.

Welfare is not for those in dire need anymore, its an actual "inheiritence" among inner city hoodlums. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free.

Im done ranting!!LOL <deep breath>

AmericasBeekeeper
01-05-2012, 01:41 AM
The realtor is trying to sell us 11 acres and up. So I looked up the law myself and beekeeping has no minimum size. I pay enough taxes between personal income and business to buy cheese and cell phones for the unemployed.

EastSideBuzz
01-05-2012, 02:27 AM
I just did an agg exemption for my property. saves me 3k a year. I have 50 hives at home.

DCurran
01-05-2012, 06:21 PM
In Wisconsin, the landowner must have 50 hives on their land in association with commercial beekeeping. There was an article in last August's Bee Culture regarding Wisconsin's law.

Gypsi
03-08-2012, 10:22 AM
The Texas Apiary Inspector is going to be at our next local meeting for Metro Beekeepers, I'm hoping to get some questions answered there. I need a lot more land for an exemption to be worth much though. Taxes on the lot where I have the bees come to about $70 a year.

bison
03-08-2012, 01:00 PM
I have a commercial beekeepeer with 100+ hives on my property in CA and it does count for the Williamson Act. However, the Act allows counties to come up with their own criteria for what they'll accept, and most seem to be cracking down substantially in an effort to boost revenues.

tsk
03-08-2012, 02:48 PM
Around here it doesn't actually boost revenue (in theory). The counties come up with a tax bill and split it over the base. If there is a larger base, the amount decreases per person but the total revenue shouldn't go up.

summer1052
03-10-2012, 12:27 PM
One of the reasons an Ag Exemption is so important in TX is this: TX has no Personal Income Tax. But we do have some very high Property Tax. Anything over 10 acres without an Ag Exemption will most likely be taxed as Residential or Commercial rates. Ouch!

The 2 acres of "Homestead" that covers the house, garage, and shop are taxed differently than the other 20 with the Ag exemption. I was faced with having to pay the regular rate on ALL 22 acres without the Ag exemption. It had been previously used for a Hay lease, which I ended when I bought the property. First, I didn't have the equipment to make hay myself. Two, the person who had the hay lease was an enthusiastic sprayer of Round up and fertilizers, and I didn't want him spraying anything else.

I pay taxes on my property, on the honey I sell, and on the candles I make and sell. I pay tax on the equipment I use for the bees - like boxes and extractor, etc. I provide the required inventory every year of what I have on hand. I update my progress with plantings.

I treat it like a business because it IS a business. I run it as such. Now, is it a business that allows me to be totally self supporting? Not yet, alas. Not on the heels of some of the worse droughts in TX history. But I am working towards that goal, if it's attainable. I answer honestly any and all questions from the county and when they stop by, I drop everything, make a fresh pot of coffee, pull out the Kolaches (Czech sweet rolls) and give them a tour, showing them anything they want to see. I speak when invited to the Rotary Club, Lion's Club, 4-H, and classrooms. I answer swarm calls and the occasional cut out.

Based on my actions, my willingness to share, my forth-rightness, I am treated with courtesy and respect by county officials. They know I am not playing games, nor am I making money hand over fist. They do what they can to help me, and give out my name when people ask for local honey, need a swarm caught, etc.

Sometimes when you put out good it DOES come back to you. Honesty is the best policy.

Summer

txsbman
03-10-2012, 07:50 PM
Agriculture Exemptions will vary from state to state; in Texas you CAN get a property tax exemption for beekeeping. You must meet several criteria to get it, and there may be some discrepancies between the state requirements and your local county; see your local county assessor to get clarification.

For Texas residents, Google "Texas Apiary Inspector" for the instructions to apply for the exemption.

EastSideBuzz
03-10-2012, 08:39 PM
Coming from someone who is actually in business, and who pays my FAIR SHARE of taxes to support public services that we all benefit from, I resent your attempts to avoid paying your fair share by invoking an exemption intended for someone who is dependent on bees for a living.:no:

2 hives will pollinate an acre. I agree with people getting away with things is wrong. But, if they law allows it then take advantage of the law. I am sure the tax assessor is not going to give you the benefit of the doubt any other time. As for paying your fare share you live in CA so you pay more then your fare share. Not trying to be mean but, you are getting ripped off in CA so use any exemption you can in CA. Poster please do a bit more then keep 2 hive. Add some more or let someone add some to your property. It would be a shame for them to change the law an punish the people that really need it. Add a few more grow each year etc.

lazy shooter
03-10-2012, 09:46 PM
I own several hundred acres of land in West Texas. If I had to pay full blown property taxes on my ranch, I could not afford to own it. Ag exempt taxes save me about 24 grand a year. I keep a herd of 38 to 40 head of black angus cattle that I use for my ag exemption. Someone with 30 or 40 hives of bees could probably make as much profit as I do on my cows. Year in and year out, a couple of hundred bucks per mother cow is about the norm. From a common sense point of view, I think bees should qualify land for ag exemption.

Beregondo
03-11-2012, 12:37 AM
Coming from someone who is actually in business, and who pays my FAIR SHARE of taxes to support public services that we all benefit from, I resent your attempts to avoid paying your fair share by invoking an exemption intended for someone who is dependent on bees for a living.:no:

"Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as
possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the
treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes.
Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister
in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone
does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any
public duty to pay more than the law demands."

Judge Learned Hand
(1872-1961), Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals

EastSideBuzz
03-11-2012, 01:24 AM
Here here I agree. It is not my job to fund the government. It is my job to take care of my family and Less taxes make it easier. Everyone that can take advantage of the AG rules I encourage to take advantage of them. With the extra money buy more bee's.

"He should just write [the government] a check and shut up," the New Jersey Governor and one-time rumored presidential candidate told CNN's Piers Morgan.

Beezly
03-11-2012, 06:20 AM
In Georgia you are entitled to preferential tax assessment to maintain land for bona fide ag. purposes. The primary use of land which is good faith commercial production from or on the land of ag products, including apiaian products. You can get conservation use breaks for not developing in any way your property also, leave it as scrub or woods. if 2 hives on 1 acre of your land provides ANY amount of income, you can qualify on that 1 acres IF the property is used only for ag production purposes. If you breach the covenant during the 10 year time frame, large penalties. Take any tax break you can qualify for. We are overtaxed due to ridiculous spending on pet projects, it is not my fault that i take the break, it is the politicians faults for overspending that make my needing to take the break necessary to financially survive.

DaveMorris
04-26-2013, 07:48 AM
Rather than speculate or guess, just Google "Texas Tax Code Chapter 23"

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/TX/htm/TX.23.htm

You will find in Sec. 23.51 the following definition:

(2) "Agricultural use" includes but is not limited to the following activities... ...raising or keeping livestock; raising or keeping exotic animals for the production of human food...

...The term also includes the use of land to raise or keep bees for pollination or for the production of human food or other tangible products having a commercial value, provided that the land used is not less than 5 or more than 20 acres."

Your Application for 1-d-1 Open-Space Agricultural Appraisal includes the following statement:

"Agricultural use includes, but is not limited to, the following activities: (1) cultivating the soil; (2) producing crops for human food, animal feed, or planting
seed or for the production of fibers; (3) floriculture, viticulture and horticulture; (4) raising or keeping livestock; (5) raising or keeping exotic animals or fowl
for the production of human food or fiber, leather, pelts or other tangible products having a commercial value; (6) planting cover crops or leaving land idle for
the purpose of participating in a governmental program provided the land is not used for residential purposes or a purpose inconsistent with agricultural use
or leaving the land idle in conjunction with normal crop or livestock rotation procedures; (7) wildlife management; and (8) beekeeping."

Ross
04-26-2013, 09:47 AM
The original case law governing ag exemption in Texas for bees is here:

"Pizzitola v. Galveston County Central Appraisal District, 808 S.W. 2d 244 (Tex. App.-Houston[1st Dist.] 1991, no writ history). In this case the court starts by stating, "This case presents the question of whether a bee is like a cow." The court held that bees are not like cows. And why does this matter? Because the Plaintiff was contending that they were entitled to an "open-space valuation" on their property taxes for the 63.17 acres of their property because the entire acreage was used by the beekeeping operation (and their bees). They wanted the same tax rate ranchers get for land used to graze cattle. They called as an expert witness an entomologist with Texas A&M, who agreed that bees need land for forage. The court agreed with the Appraisal District, who had determined that the three acres around the hives and honey house qualified, but not the rest. The court held that, "the tending of the bees--the preparation, maintenance of the hives and equipment, and the honey extraction--took place on the three acres, not on the Property [as a whole]." Id. at 250."

Since then, the 2011 Texas legislature add some language apparently to help us. See this:
http://tais.tamu.edu/newsletter/pdf/August%202011%20Newsletter.pdf

Nature Coast beek
04-26-2013, 11:01 AM
Easiest way to get "greenbelt" exemption in Florida is to borrow someone else's livestock. Horses are not qualified for the exemption either.

Michael Bush
04-26-2013, 11:04 AM
In Nebraska you have to have a minimum of 20 acres and be filing a schedule F. I don't know of any other requirements.

Uberwilhelm
04-26-2013, 11:36 AM
Anyone live in CT who has looked into this? I did some research and couldn't come up with anything one way or the other. Some really vague laws regarding exemptions for farms but not what constitutes a farm.

WBVC
04-26-2013, 12:20 PM
We don't have local folks to chat up...having said that I would be very interested in having a look at your submission with details on how much of what supports "x" number of bees etc. I believe the bees will be fine even without our efforts as we are sandwiched between 4 golf courses and are but a stones throw from planted commercial vegetable, blueberry and cranberry farms. We have 2 local farmers markets for selling product plus I have a business that is interested in purchasing all the bottled honey we can produce. I am also planning on making flavour infusions of the honey plus combining some with herbs as healing salves. I am new to this forum and don't know if it supports private messages.

Today I am trying to locate a local of white clover seed to top dress our fields. We have already planted fruit trees, seed fruits, climbing roses, clematis, honey suckle, ornamental flowering trees etc.

Looking forward to getting more info to beef up my submission:)

Rader Sidetrack
04-26-2013, 12:27 PM
> Anyone live in CT who has looked into this?

The following relates to sales tax exemptions in CT for farmers, but it clearly defines what it takes to be eligible, and specifically includes bees:

http://www.ct.gov/DRS/cwp/view.asp?A=1511&Q=267156

As for property tax in CT regarding bees, read this document:
http://www.ct.gov/doag/lib/doag/marketing_files/complete_490guide_cfba.pdf

See the top left column of page 10 for a definition of "farming" which does include "bees". Once you have the document open, "Control-F" should open a search function allowing you to search for references to bees.

And for more documents on this issue, try typing or pasting the following into Google:

"bees property tax site:www.ct.gov"

:D

Jon B
04-26-2013, 12:41 PM
The number would differ depending on what county and state you live in. I had a landowner contact me a few year ago who wanted me to move some hives onto their property for agriculture tax breaks. This landowner had contacted the county office and was told they needed at least four hive on the property.

Nature Coast beek
04-26-2013, 01:41 PM
For all you New Jersey beeks, here's what "Joisey" requires...(maybe, if we keep this thread alive, we'll get all 50 states :rolleyes: )


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lag0sy--Hyc

Uberwilhelm
04-26-2013, 01:59 PM
Exactly what I was looking for. Many thanks!

Risky Beesness
05-15-2013, 06:34 PM
I live in the Texas Hill Country and I have 18 ac, which is within the window of 5-20 ac Texas requires for agricultural use with honeybees. I am in my 3rd year and have the documentation. I have been in touch with the county appraiser and the Texas Appiary Inspector. I currently have 12 hives. There is no question of whether i will qualify or not. The question is "degree of intensity". I can't seem to find any information on those who have successfully obtained their exemption.

Ross
05-15-2013, 09:17 PM
In our county, the appraiser has said you need 6 hives up to 10 acres and one hive per half acre after that. I think a hive per half acre is a bit too much, but at least you have a guide.

David Cassity
05-15-2013, 10:44 PM
Tom, I can agree 100% with your sentiment. But on the other hand, when the Central Appraisal District uses every gimmick they can to over access our properties (I have yet to reside in a county in Texas where it does not occur), I can't be too critical of those who have found a loophole to counteract them. It used to be that you could successfully contest them, but anymore they seem to have too much influence on the arbitrators and it is rare for them to vote against the county.


>>>who pays my FAIR SHARE of taxes to support public services

I agree, I didn't write the rules that I'm forced tonplay by. I am responsible for the rules even if I don't know or understand they exist. Example the government values homeownership. They allow you to deduct the interest. This is available wehther the house is a 40000 trailer or a million dollar house. Agriculture takes so many forms and politics entered into the farm bill each year. In Kentucky most smallnfarmers are land rich and cash poor.if you western beeks come to Kentucky I think you will be impressed how green we are. Most transplants to Kentucky say we look like a green park.

But all politics is local. If you don't like the tax structure work to changes it. In Kentucky our tax structure is not high but they tax EVERYTHING.
If one is entitled to take an exemption, I would not consider that as taking an unfair advantage. A fair share is paying what is due , no more nor less.
I posted in the middle of the quote. Sorry

grozzie2
05-16-2013, 12:56 AM
Looking forward to getting more info to beef up my submission:)

In bc it's pretty simple to get the ag class taxes. If you have less than 2 acres, show $10,000 in receipts for produced product. From 2 to 10 acres, show $2500 in receipts. Above 10 acres, it becomes a percentage of the assessed value.

Bees and honey both qualify.

Wife got a new job, so we will be moving up island in a few weeks. When we buy up there, we are seriously looking at getting a plot between 2 and 10 acres. With a dozen hives it wont be hard to do $2500 a year in sales, which will put us over the threshold.

WBVC
05-16-2013, 09:39 AM
Thank you for that info. We have 2.5 acres in Vancouver and are in the process of developing hives. We will have 5 this year and plan to add another 5 next year. We have an outlet arranged for the sale of any honey we harvest from our hives.

If things go well we would like to work at developing skills to create nucs and raise queens so we can help get hives into backyards:)

grozzie2
05-16-2013, 10:36 AM
If you are in Vancouver proper, zoning may come into play and be a problem. If your 2.5 acres is in the ALR, it's real easy. In our case, we are currently on .25 acres zoned R3, which does not permit agriculture, so we couldn't apply for the exemption even if we had the $10K in honey sales. Interestingly tho, we contacted the city before getting bees, and none of the bylaws prevent having them. From the city perspective, bees are not an 'agricultural animal'. They have a very specific list of animals not permitted in residential zoning areas. Bees are not on that list, and, are not animals, they are insects. But, on the website for the assessment folks, apiculture is right there at the top of the list for qualifying endeavors.

Here is a link with the relavent information.

http://www.bcassessment.ca/public/Fact%20Sheets/Classifying%20Farm%20Land.aspx

WBVC
05-16-2013, 10:43 AM
We are right in Vancouver proper but our lot is is zoned RA1 and is included in the ALR...the info you have gathered is good news to me:)

Troy
05-23-2013, 07:29 AM
Nature Coast, thanks for that briefing. That was illuminating. For two reasons, both because I learned a few things - and because I appreciate now how different each state's requirements are.

Do you have, or do you know how to get a copy of the briefing charts themselves? The audio is very hard to follow.

I would like to send the briefing charts to my county assessor.

I think it is interesting that tax assessors have standards for how many cows per acre and how many chickens per acre, but they don't have a standard for bees. We beeks need to band together and help to establish some standards.

In fact, in the breifing he talks about class of soil from A=best to E=worst. The tax assessor recognizes that in poor soil types, the number of cows the land can support on an acre is less than on good soil. Same thing applies to bees.

We beeks know that you can't put 100 hives on 5 acres. Even the richest land can't support that many. Likewise we know that 2 hives on 25 acres is not enough either. We need to establish some ballpark numbers and then go gather some real data to support our numbers.

Once we have that data we can take our case to the tax assessors and help them to establish some standards for beekeeping AG exemptions.

camero7
05-24-2013, 05:27 AM
in Mass. you needed 5 acres and $500 gross income, pretty reasonable,
mike

They exclude the house lot from the 5 acres here in MA. Some towns have 1 acre lot minimum so you need 6 acres. Believe it's referred to as 61B ag exemption. Well worth it.

lazy shooter
05-24-2013, 07:00 AM
Texas is similar to MA. My house and barn are on one acre and excluded from the Ag Exempt range land. My barn, Tractor barn and living quarters inside the barn are taxed at normal rates. It's only the grazing acres that are ag exempt. Ag exemption is a huge benefit in Texas.

WBVC
05-26-2013, 11:56 AM
With cattle etc they are usually restricted to a certain grazing area...hence the density guidelines. With bees someone can can have a small plot for their hives but the bees can range unrestricted for miles. I guess for guidelines they would have to assess the forage potential within the bee fly radius. Also it seems some supplement feed as not all are keeping them for honey (some raise them for sale like stock and others rent them out much of the year). Unlike most livestock it seems if bees feel that their living circumstances are inadequate they simply up and leave to better places:)

Bee Wrangler
01-07-2014, 10:04 AM
Hi, Bee Wrangler here. I just found out that the land we are going to buy will qualify for Ag exemption even though it is only 5 acres. There is a house on it, but we have Homestead in another county so they will not disallow for this structure. They did tell me we have to have one hive per acre and that it would be 5 years before we would be able to qualify for Ag exempt. The good thing is as soon as we purchase the land we can apply and
the time starts counting down even while we are prepping the land.

WBVC
01-07-2014, 04:42 PM
We now have farm status on our land. Apiculture was an accepted farm product...honey, bees, wax, propolis, pollen etc. We have 15 hives...if all survive the winter which is not likely:( For us the requirement was , enough land with an approved farm plan and enough income from the products to maintain the farm status (based on sales not net). I started the hives last spring, applied in August and will see my first tax relief this year. I have to pay the first tax instalment in full (it is half of last years) and then I should see a reduction by the second instalment in July.
Where I am the farm status area of ones property only applies to the part of the property actually being "farmed". The assessed property value of farm land is less than residential or commercial; the taxes are based on overall assessed value...here's hoping the significant reduction in assessed value will be reflected in my second tax instalment come July 2014.

Good luck with your endeavours..both bee and farm:)

squarepeg
01-07-2014, 05:34 PM
good thread. because of it i checked into this and found out that we qualify as well. thanks beesource!

Okbackwoods
07-25-2014, 11:48 AM
Does anyone know the requirements for Oklahoma. I only have five colonies currently and I'm on two acres

johng
07-26-2014, 11:24 AM
I just got an exemption on my property taxes for my bees. Troy in Florida each county sets their own guidelines. Here is a link to the application for Duval County, Bee yards is clearly listed. http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/property/forms/current/dr482_f.pdf

I had to turn in a plot plan and a business plan with my application. I only got the exemption for 1 1/2 acres not my whole parcel of land but, every little bit helps. When I first gave the property appraisers office a call they where not sure I qualified but, after they came out and looked at the honey house and the hives and the revenue for the past three years my application was approved. They said I was only the second person to apply for the exemption for bees.

P2b2
07-26-2014, 09:51 PM
The cost of inner city hoodlums is nothing compared to the corporate wellfare that our country provides. Taxes lost on the $3 trillion safe in banks offshore. Hoodlums are not the problem!

Haraga
07-26-2014, 10:52 PM
Johng, how much did that lower your taxes?

johno
07-27-2014, 12:11 PM
I have only the1 acre lot with my house on, so I will get no tax breaks for my 27 hives and 20 nucs. Guess I will have to continue to pay my $200. bucks a year property tax without any respite. Woe is me.
Johno

johng
07-27-2014, 04:45 PM
Haraga they had my property accessed at 20K an acre now 1 1/2 acres is accessed at $650 the rest of the property stayed at the higher assessment. I don't remember off the top of my head what that lowered the tax bill but it was noticeable. I think our millage rate is around 11%

johng
07-27-2014, 04:49 PM
Johno I would be tickled to death if my property taxes was only $200.

bnm1000
07-27-2014, 08:57 PM
The cost of inner city hoodlums is nothing compared to the corporate wellfare that our country provides. Taxes lost on the $3 trillion safe in banks offshore. Hoodlums are not the problem!

Corporations are nothing but thousands of individual shareholders who own stock in a company. Most of the shareholders of these multinational companies are the pension plans of individuals and unions that people like us belong to. The less these corporations pay in taxes the higher the value of my 401 k.

mac
07-28-2014, 05:32 AM
Thanks for all the input here. I agree that it has to appear to be more than a hobby.

Still on the other hand people here in FL plant row upon row of pine trees and get one. Pine trees are not a very engaging line of work, but if that Pine trees counts, then certainly there ought to be a way to make a bee endeavor work.
pine trees for timber sales

mac
07-28-2014, 05:41 AM
For a bee/honey operation you must be a registered Florida Beekeeper and have your own, or have access to, honey extracting equipment, hive building and repair facility, etc."
One acre homestead and the rest "greenbelt" for apiculture. not exactly correct a beekeeper can lease someones 5 acres of land and the land owners property can be taxed as ag

mac
07-28-2014, 06:08 AM
I think it is interesting that tax assessors have standards for how many cows per acre and how many chickens per acre, but they don't have a standard for bees. We beeks need to band together and help to establish some standards. well there already are some standers if your trying to make money from bees. check out Fl. right to farm act. And it's not an exemption it's a land classification






We beeks know that you can't put 100 hives on 5 acres. Sure ya can if your just selling bees and don't care about honey and feed a lot

EastSideBuzz
08-08-2014, 01:23 PM
Coming from someone who is actually in business, and who pays my FAIR SHARE of taxes to support public services that we all benefit from, I resent your attempts to avoid paying your fair share by invoking an exemption intended for someone who is dependent on bees for a living.:no:

In your state of CA I would figure out anyway to not pay taxes. They are so broke it is not funny.

My whole goal in life is to figure out how to give the man as little of my HARD earned money as possible legally. So when you say pay your fair share. I pay what I am legally obligated to and no more. The reason why the rich pay less is because they are smarter or can afford to pay smarter people. I strive to be smarter so I strive to be richer. Everyone has got to have a goal. Our Governor spent like 80k to refinish her desk so I work to make sure she cant afford the wax they use to buff it. I will donate the wax to her but,wont pay for it.

snl
08-08-2014, 02:08 PM
Guess I will have to continue to pay my $200. bucks a year property tax without any respite. Woe is me.


Woe is you?? You're kidding, right? $200 bucks a year? You live in a shack? :)