The annual application period for Farmland Tax Exemption (FTE) is from June 1 to Oct. 1. No applications shall be accepted after the October deadline, according to a press release issued Tuesday by the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture (DOA).
The tax incentive program allows qualified farmers to receive up to 95 percent tax exemption on land used for agricultural purposes.
According to the law, the objectives of the Farmland Tax Exemption program are to provide an incentive for residents to engage in the business of farming, make farming more profitable and ensure that fresh, local agricultural products are available to residents.
To receive the exemption, all applicants must meet some basic qualifications:
- be engaged in farming activity,
- generate income from farming activity,
- conduct farm operations on parcels of land zoned for the stated farming activity (i.e. livestock production) and
- engage in proper farm management practices.
Farmers are also required to have a current farmer’s license and annually submit a completed Harvest Report Form to the DOA.
Crops (fruits, vegetables, herbs, ornamentals), apiculture (beekeeping) and livestock operations are eligible for this exemption. The types of livestock that are considered include cattle, sheep, goats, swine, poultry and rabbits.
For more information about the program, contact Audrey Brown at 778-0998, ext. 228 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.