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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,875

    Default Re: Tax break

    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.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,344

    Default Re: Tax break

    I just did an agg exemption for my property. saves me 3k a year. I have 50 hives at home.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Mt. Horeb, WI, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Tax break

    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.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,766

    Default Re: Tax break

    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.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    331

    Default Re: Tax break

    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.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Waukesha, WI
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Tax break

    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.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lavaca county, Texas
    Posts
    497

    Default Re: Tax break

    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

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Hood Co. Texas, USA
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Tax break

    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.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,344

    Default Re: Property taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom G. Laury View Post
    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.
    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.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    brownwood, TX, USA
    Posts
    820

    Default Re: Property taxes

    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.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Property taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom G. Laury View Post
    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.
    "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

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,344

    Default Re: Property taxes

    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.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Appling, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Property taxes

    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.
    Last edited by Barry; 03-11-2012 at 02:55 PM. Reason: off topic

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Lamar County, Texas
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Property taxes

    Rather than speculate or guess, just Google "Texas Tax Code Chapter 23"

    http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.u.../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."

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,366

    Default Re: Property taxes

    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/...Newsletter.pdf

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Citrus County, Florida, United States
    Posts
    258

    Default Re: Property taxes

    Easiest way to get "greenbelt" exemption in Florida is to borrow someone else's livestock. Horses are not qualified for the exemption either.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: Property taxes

    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.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Hartford County, Connecticut
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Property taxes

    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.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,264

    Default Re: Property tax agricultural exemption for bees

    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

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,964

    Default Re: Property taxes

    > 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/mark...guide_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"

    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 04-26-2013 at 11:41 AM.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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