Florida legislation provides two avenues of property tax relief for conservation easements, environmentally endangered lands, and other conservation areas that retain the natural
landscape and ecosystem. The first is a conservation land Classification. The second is a property tax Exemption. The land must meet the requirements of a conservation easement
in section 704.06 of the Florida Statutes.
The Classification provides that the value of land used for conservation purposes be assessed at its present use, much like the existing agricultural classification
does for agricultural land (193.501 F.S.).
To qualify for the conservation land Classification, the land must meet one of the following criteria:
- Must be a conservation easement, which retains land or water areas in their natural condition and limits dumping, removal of trees, dredging, construction of buildings,
roads, etc. on the property. Conservation easements are often created through a deed restriction or condition.
- Land must be qualified and designated as environmentally endangered;
- Land must be designated as conservation land in a comprehensive municipal plan; or
- Land utilized for outdoor recreational or park purposes, such as land used for boating, camping, swimming, horseback riding, or scenic sites.
- AND the land must be conveyed to the board of a public agency for preservation of the land for not less than 10 years.
The Exemption completely exempts property taxes from land that is dedicated in perpetuity and used exclusively for conservation purposes
To qualify for the Exemption, the land must be comprised of at least 40 contiguous acres. If it is less than 40 acres, then you must provide documentation
from the Department of State's Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC)
- indicating that the property fulfills a "clearly delineated state conservation policy" and yields a "significant public benefit".
You must file an application with the Lee County Property Appraiser on or before March 1st of the year applying to receive either the exemption or classification.
Use the above Application links to complete the form using your computer. When you are finished, simply print and sign it. Then mail the signed original to our office.
Lee County Property Appraiser
Attn: Conservation Department
P.O. Box 1546
Fort Myers, FL 33902
Phone: (239) 533-6276