Volusia Business News: Happy cattle mean lower taxes

Posted on May 17, 2018

Adams Ranch and Miami Corp. announced last week that Adams would be running about a hundred head of cattle on the 1,125 acres of land owned by Farmton Deering Park within the City of Edgewater.

Miami Corp. eventually plans to develop the land for residential and commercial uses, expanding Edgewater well west of Interstate 95. The company also plans to create Farmton, a community that could eventually have as many as 25,000 residents.

So, why the move to cattle when Miami Corp.’s operations have mainly been timber, hunting leases and mitigation banking?

For Adams Ranch it makes lots of sense, because it gives the company a lot more land to raise cattle and it’s pretty cheap to feed them when you have hundreds of acres of grass. In the announcement, the companies noted the cattle operation could spread to all of the 60,000 acres Miami Corp. owns in south Volusia and north Brevard counties.

For Miami Corp., it could mean millions of dollars of savings on taxes while it clears land and gets ready to develop it.

In Volusia, the value placed on timberland, depending on soil potential, is $70 to $310 per acres while the value on pastureland is $23 to $200 per acre, depending on whether it is improved, semi-improved or native unimproved and also soil potential, according to John Hawkins of the Volusia Property Appraiser’s office.

I’m guessing the land will get rated on the low end as native unimproved land, so we’ll take the $23 an acre, subtract that from the low end of timber of $70 and get $47 per acre. On 1,125 acres, we’re talking a savings of $52,785, which isn’t much. But now multiply it by 60,000 acres over about 5 years. Go ahead, I’ll wait, which is what Miami Corp. is doing while it continues to make money on the timber and hunting leases.

O'Connor Capital Partners has submitted a master development request to the City of Daytona Beach for 134 acres along the northeast quadrant of I-95 and LPGA Boulevard and Williamson Boulevard. It would stretch behind the strip that includes a 7-Eleven on the east and Stonewood Grill & Tavern (formerly Vince Carter’s) on the west, then north along I-95 for a spell. It could include up to 13 building sites, including one hotel, a large industrial site and several possible restaurants and retail businesses.

Bed tax collections were disappointing for March, down a miniscule 0.11 percent in Volusia County. West and Southeast Volusia were up, but the Halifax area was down. I don’t think Bike Week was off that much. It could have just been some hotels paying their taxes late and April will be up sharply.

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