There are two types of assessments for conservation easements. The first has an exemption for conservation easements which are dedicated in perpetuity. The second is for land which is used for conservation purposes.
1. Conservation Easements Dedicated in Perpetuity
- File an application (Form DR-418C) for the exemption between January 1st and March 1st.
- Have a Conservation Easement Dedicated in Perpetuity on the parcel, and provide said document to the Property Appraiser.
- Parcel is required to be 40 acres or greater. If less than 40 acres it has to meet the other requirements of F.S. 196.26(4) and be approved by the Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC) as created in F.S. 259.035. The approval from the ARC is required to be provided at the time of application. Information on the Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC) can be found here.
- The Conservation Easement must include baseline documentation as to the species/natural values to be protected on the land.
- A management plan may be submitted, but is not required.
- Existing buildings, structures, or other improvements situated on the parcel must be assessed according to F.S. 193, unless they are used for the maintenance of the easement.
The 2016 legislature enacted Chapter 2016-110, Laws of Florida, (SB 190) effective July 1, 2016. Section 1 of the law deletes the requirement for an annual application once the property owner has filed an original application for the exemption for real property dedicated in perpetuity for conservation purposes.
2. Land Used for Conservation Purposes
- Meet the requirements of F.S. 193.501 and F.S. 704.06.
- File an application (Form DR-482C) for the conservation assessment between January 1st and March 1st.
- File a re-application (Form DR-482CR) each subsequent year.
- Have a conservation easement on the parcel, or
- be designated as environmentally endangered land by formal resolution of the governing board of the municipality or county within such land is located, or
- be designated as conservation land in the adopted local comprehensive plan, or
- convey the development rights or covenant with the appropriate board for conservation restrictions provided in F.S. 704.06(1) for a minimum of 10 years, and
- provide said document to the Property Appraiser.
- Notify the Property Appraiser promptly if the land becomes ineligible for assessment under this section. If you fail to notify the Property Appraiser and it is determined the land was not eligible for anytime within the last 10 years, the owner is subject to taxes avoided plus 15% interest each year, and a penalty of 50% of the taxes avoided.
- Any property also owned by the same owner may be subject to a lien for the unpaid taxes and penalties listed above.