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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

    Default Property tax agricultural exemption for bees

    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.
    Troy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,420

    Default

    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,560

    Default

    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,596

    Default

    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    2,061

    Default

    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lavaca county, Texas
    Posts
    497

    Default

    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,933

    Default Re: Property tax agricultural exemption for bees

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Skiff, Alberta, CA
    Posts
    606

    Default Re: Property tax agricultural exemption for bees

    Johng, how much did that lower your taxes?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: Property tax agricultural exemption for bees

    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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,752

    Default Re: Property tax agricultural exemption for bees

    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%

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,752

    Default Re: Property tax agricultural exemption for bees

    Johno I would be tickled to death if my property taxes was only $200.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,493

    Default Re: Property tax agricultural exemption for bees

    Quote Originally Posted by johno View Post
    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?
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