Recently, the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) published a Notice of Proposed Rule for rule 12D-51.001, Florida Administrative Code, titled Florida Agricultural Classified Use Real Property Appraisal Guidelines. DOR seeks to amend the guidelines, originally promulgated in 1982, to provide guidance to county property appraisers as they develop valuations for real property classified as agricultural.     

The proposed amendments update the original guidelines by describing the legislative changes that have impacted the valuation of agricultural property over the past 40 years. This includes the legislature’s rejection of the “every-reasonable-hypothesis” burden of proof and clarification surrounding how agritourism fits into the scope of the agricultural exemption, providing specific definitions for concepts such as “timberland” and “pasture land,” and generally expanding the depth of the information provided and making the document’s tone more formal.

While required to be adopted through the rulemaking process pursuant to section 195.062, Florida Statutes, the guidelines are not intended to have the force and effect of law like other rules. Instead, DOR intends for the updated guidelines to assist county property appraisers in performing their duties and hopes that the guidelines lend conformity and accuracy to appraisals statewide.

DOR is currently accepting comments on the proposed guidelines on the FL Rules Website through May 3, 2024.