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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I was approached today by a local business here in NJ about putting some hives on their property to produce honey for them to maintain farm assessment. The property in question is across the street from their warehouse and is 9 acres in size. They bought it to preserve the land and keep,it from being developed with homes. It is vacant land that used to be a farm. My question is this, has anyone ever done this before, if yes how did you structure a deal to pretty much allow them to get tax breaks from your bees? I don’t currently have enough bee equipment to place, what I would think is about 4 or 5 hives, to produce enough honey to meet the dollar amount in sales for them to maintain the tax break. For those who have done something like this did you have a deal in place where the people you are doing this for supply the bees and equipment, also do you give them the honey to sell or do you sell it it yourself and give the recipes of the sale to the property owner to provide to the town should they be asked for the documentation. Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide.
 

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Ask the local tax assessor how many hives the property needs to qualify for an ag assessment. I'll bet they can answer the question.

Other than that, who pays whom? Who knows? All kinds of variables in this equation. Is it a good bee location? How much will they benefit, etc. etc.?
 

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Roger that, re: all the variables. What if the hives fail or prove to be non-producers (so little honey for sale or use)? Just 1 thought.
 

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I do this with a friend in Maryland (I'm in Virginia). I don't know what his arrangement is with the state, or the details of the benefits he receives. I just keep bees on his land. I give him some honey and wax in exchange for use of his land. He gets some kind of tax break for using his land to keep bees.
 

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Which one of you will be paying the sales tax and the income tax on the $5020 per year?
 

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Your hives and equipment, your work to maintain them, your efforts to sell the honey, you absorb any losses? Then, I would say you take all the products/profits of the hive, i.e. honey, wax, and splits/swarms, and the owner gets the tax break/agriculture assessment. Give the owner a few quarts of honey each year so he feels like he is getting something from "his bees."

Also 9 acres of fallow land is not much for bee forage, so it is not like this is some great beekeeping opportunity that you can't pass up.

Also, if you put your hives anywhere within a 1/2 mile of this property, your bees will forage on it all the same, and the owner won't be entitled to anything.

JMHO






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As I understand it, somehow, someway, the owner has to realize $1020 (or $502 if going through the Woodland assessment) from keeping bees on the 9 acre property. Meaning, if the owner won't keep the bees himself and sell the honey, the beekeeper who does keep the bees on the property will have to pay that amount to the owner (either in dollars, or pounds of honey, etc). Usually, beekeepers don't pay a fee to keep bees on a piece of property. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule of thumb, but I don't see why there would be an exception, here. So, I don't see how this agriculture assessment program can work to benefit the land owner under these circumstances.
 

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It all depends upon what the current mil rate is an the delta between that rate and the farm rate. Hard to tell from here. Interesting (well to me anyway) that the commercial unbuilt portion of the commercial lot is not barred from the ag rate by being on the opposite side of the road. Rather impressed with the effort to explain the program.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone for the insight I have an appointment with the tax department in my town Friday. For me it would be just expanding my bee hobby a bit and maybe helping a friend and his business. I will let you all know what I find out and see how this works out.
 
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