- Florida legislature has passed a bill to establish the Florida Farm Tax Exempt Agricultural Materials (TEAM) Card to simplify the tax exemption process for farmers.
- The physical card alternative would eliminate the need to fill out paperwork for each tax-exempt purchase, making it easier for farmers to claim existing sales-tax exemptions.
- The bill also requires state agencies, universities, state colleges, and their contracted food service providers to give preference to food grown and produced in Florida.
The Florida legislature has advanced a bill aimed at establishing the Florida Farm Tax Exempt Agricultural Materials (TEAM) Card in order to streamline the tax exemption process for farmers statewide. Following passage from the state House and Senate, the bill heads to the desk of Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Presently, farmers are required to fill out and submit paperwork for each tax-exempt purchase. The legislation, HB 1279, would provide a free physical card alternative, making it easier to claim existing sales-tax exemptions. According to Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson, the policy aims to reduce barriers to economic success for farmers and their livelihoods, making it easier for them to purchase necessary supplies and goods.
In Florida, farmers may be eligible for tax exemptions on certain agricultural equipment and property used in production. Specifically, farmers may be exempt from paying sales and use taxes on items such as feed, fertilizer, and pesticides. Ranchers in Florida may also be eligible for a property tax exemption on agricultural lands that meet certain criteria, such as being actively used for agricultural purposes and meeting minimum acreage requirements.
“When farmers succeed, we all succeed, which is why we need to support our farmers and take any weight off their backs that we can,” said Simpson. “The Florida Farm TEAM Card will help to alleviate burdens felt by farmers and agricultural retailers in our state, and I applaud Senator Collins and Representative Alvarez for championing this commonsense legislation.”
The measure unanimously passed both chambers on April 26, garnering widespread bipartisan support. A secondary provision within the legislation also requires state agencies, universities, state colleges, and their contracted food service providers to give preference to food grown and produced in Florida.
“Reducing barriers to their economic success through efforts like making the Florida Farm TEAM Card a reality is not only good for the consumer but it’s smart business for our farmers and agriculture retailers across the State,” said Rep. Danny Alvarez, who introduced the bill. “It is beyond time that Florida Agriculture gets recognized for their importance and impact on our State and the Nation as a whole.”