Endangered Lands Tax Exemption Program
Miami-Dade County administers the Environmentally Endangered Lands Tax Exemption Program. Upon receipt of an application for an endangered lands tax exemption, County biologists conduct a field assessment of the specific property to determine if the property qualifies for the program.
Review criteria include the following parameters: species diversity, presence of rare and endangered plant species, impact by exotic plant species, tree size, manageability, and the size of the site. Other factors which may also be taken into account include unusual geological formations and the presence of rare and endangered wildlife, and whether the property can be subdivided and developed.
Since only natural portions of a site may be considered for endangered lands, all existing structures, roads, driveways, clearings and disturbed areas which may be a part of the site are deducted from the total acreage figure of the site. In addition, future home sites may be deducted from the total acreage figure.
Any relatively undisturbed natural forest site, such as pinelands and hardwood hammocks, especially those in danger of being developed, can qualify for an environmentally endangered lands tax exemption.
Consideration is given to the general condition of the site, the presence of rare plants or animals, the extent of impact by exotic plants and the future manageability of the site as a natural area.
The property owner is required to sign a ten-year covenant with Miami-Dade County. The covenant stipulates that the property will be maintained and managed in its natural condition for the duration of the covenant.
- You do not have to allow for public access if my site qualifies for the endangered land tax exemption. Qualified sites shall remain private. Miami-Dade County shall have the right to inspect the premises to determine if the land is being maintained as agreed to in the covenant.
- The tax break you can expect if your land qualifies for the endangered land tax exemption is the lowest tax assessment given for any land.
- You may apply for the tax exemption on any portion of a site or all of a site. Future homesites may be excluded from the application.
Each new owner of a property declared as an EEL must file the Florida Department of Revenue form DR-482C with the Property Appraiser’s Office.Back to Top
How to Apply
After it has been determined that a site has qualified for the program, a management plan is developed to ensure that the site remains in a natural state and to maintain or improve existing environmental conditions. This usually entails requiring the owner to maintain a program to remove and control exotic plant species from the site and possible replanting of native species. In the case of pinelands, periodic controlled burns may be required.
The management plan as well as other conservation restrictions, are detailed in a covenant, which must be signed and adhered to by the applicant. All covenants are granted for a period of ten years.
Any term or condition not adhered to by the property owner constitutes a breach of covenant may require the owner to pay all back taxes plus an annual interest penalty.
Yearly inspections may be made of approved sites to ensure that the conditions stipulated in the management plan are being followed. Any act or use detrimental to the preservation of qualified sites such as dumping, excavation, destruction of trees, shrubs or other vegetation is prohibited.
Applications should be mailed to:
Miami-Dade County Regulatory and Economic Resources Department
Environmental Resources Management
701 NW 1st Court, Suite 400
Miami, FL 33136.
Phone: 305-372-6864 or 305-372-6592.
A sketch or survey of the property and an application fee are also required.Back to Top
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