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Author Topic: Honeybees used to avoid taxes?  (Read 1146 times)
D Coates
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« on: December 13, 2013, 10:27:54 AM »

"Bon Jovi has a foundation that builds houses for poor people, but at tax time, the musician labels himself a "farmer." He pays only $100 in state property tax. And his tax dodge gimmick: raising honeybees."
 http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/12/11/hollywood-celebrity-hypocrites-2013/?intcmp=trending

Interesting tax dodge.  Hypocritical, but interesting.  I guess that's one way to get the bees to pay for themselves.

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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2013, 02:27:34 PM »

pretty common, i think.  around here it's Christmas trees.  plant a bunch and call yourself a tree farm.  thing is, those taxes are deferred, not forgiven (in oregon), so if they did prove you were cheating they could go after all those back taxes.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2013, 03:01:20 PM »

Farmers still pay taxes folks!

In my area of Michigan property taxes are equal to 25% of an income property’s REVENUE.  The local government allowed the public to vote to shift more of the schools operating costs (new football stadiums, soccer fields, etc, you know those really important educational things rolleyes) onto the backs of the businesses and off the public’s backs.  All in the name of “saving our schools”.  Guess how the public voted? 

So if you own income property in Mich, it becomes very difficult to make money thanks to the local government that can do whatever they want.  However, there are State government agricultural laws that can exempt a property from the extra school taxes and trump the local government.  You might call it a “tax dodge” but I would call it trying to leveling the authority abuse exercised by the local governments.

I have tried to get an ag tax exemption with honeybees but have only had limited success.  The local governments usually just laugh when you talk honey bees. Sad  They don’t take them seriously….. and my taxes bills are WAY higher than $100. 

I highly doubt your “Fox News” report is giving a ‘fair and balanced’ report on Bon Jovi.  I would be utterly amazed if Bon Jovi only pays $100 in property taxes per parcel DUE to some ag exemption.  It is more likely he’s worked out a “payment in lieu of taxes” in place of traditional property taxes.  Payments in lieu are based on revenue and economics of a project.  That is standard practice if a community wants to have low income housing which would otherwise be completely unprofitable.   
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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2013, 03:12:51 PM »

bluebee, it was a big story in 2011 including many other celebs.  in a second of googling you could have found multiple stories not from fox.  where the original info came from, who knows?  with some effort you could probably find that too.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2013, 03:18:49 PM »

LOL, maybe I should just phone up Bon Jovi and ask him.  lau
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kathyp
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2013, 03:20:31 PM »

there you go.   grin  aren't taxes public record anyway? 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
merince
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2013, 03:25:33 PM »

The agricultural use exemption is used by most of the farmers to reduce the tax burden on the land they own. Usually it is based on an income requirement - if my memory serves me right, you need to prove about 2,500 in "farm" income. So the barrier of entry into the program is not that high.

The caveat is that your local taxing authority keeps track of the taxes you don't pay and can and usually will recoup the last 3 years of taxes that did not get paid any time you fail the exemption test or you sell the property for a "non-farm" purpose.
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sterling
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2013, 06:59:52 PM »

Farmers still pay taxes folks!

In my area of Michigan property taxes are equal to 25% of an income property’s REVENUE.  The local government allowed the public to vote to shift more of the schools operating costs (new football stadiums, soccer fields, etc, you know those really important educational things rolleyes) onto the backs of the businesses and off the public’s backs.  All in the name of “saving our schools”.  Guess how the public voted? 

So if you own income property in Mich, it becomes very difficult to make money thanks to the local government that can do whatever they want.  However, there are State government agricultural laws that can exempt a property from the extra school taxes and trump the local government.  You might call it a “tax dodge” but I would call it trying to leveling the authority abuse exercised by the local governments.

I have tried to get an ag tax exemption with honeybees but have only had limited success.  The local governments usually just laugh when you talk honey bees. Sad  They don’t take them seriously….. and my taxes bills are WAY higher than $100. 

I highly doubt your “Fox News” report is giving a ‘fair and balanced’ report on Bon Jovi.  I would be utterly amazed if Bon Jovi only pays $100 in property taxes per parcel DUE to some ag exemption.  It is more likely he’s worked out a “payment in lieu of taxes” in place of traditional property taxes.  Payments in lieu are based on revenue and economics of a project.  That is standard practice if a community wants to have low income housing which would otherwise be completely unprofitable.   

Sounds like your area of Michigan might be run by Democrates.
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10framer
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2013, 07:36:56 PM »

i get a 75 percent property tax break if i keep my land in agriculture which includes growing pine trees.  i have a G A T E card too, it exempts me from sales tax on farm related purchases.  there are also programs i could use where i would actually get money for running fences or putting in a pond.  if my land was ever used for row crops i can actually get a check that will just about offset the property taxes i do pay.  my only problem with bon jovi taking advantage of tax breaks is because he supports the current administration that has spent the last 5 or 6 years crying about the wealthy doing just that.  kind of like the p.o.s. michael moore hanging around at occupy wall street then going home to his lake front mansion.  
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10framer
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2013, 07:52:09 PM »

i just read the article and i see he was saying the same thing i said.  i've heard the bon jovi story before, i'd like to know a lot more about his operation.  i've run the numbers and i think it takes a couple hundred hives to really make beekeeping a "business".   less than that and you'd have a hard time staying ahead of expenses or you'd need to be farming something else, too.
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GSF
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« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2013, 09:33:22 PM »

10framer, not long after I put up the last of our fence I found out about the fence tax break/grant. Oh well. Years ago the county would put a pond in for you if you had the place. That was decades ago.
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10framer
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« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2013, 10:30:46 AM »

gary, you need to find the soil and conservation office near you, they can tell you all kinds of stuff that you qualify for.  i haven't gotten around to it yet but from what i'm told they would have covered 90 percent of the cost of putting my well in. 
i wouldn't lose sleep over the fencing if i were you, i know a cattle farmer that waited 8 years for approval.  i'd like to put a pond in but i'm worried it would just turn into a wallow for all the wild hogs in the area.
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merince
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« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2013, 07:52:32 PM »

Here the state usually puts the ponds in if they have a road project going on and they need the "fill" for the overpasses. From what I've heard they move through the line pretty quick once a project gets going but in between projects, there is quite a wait.
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10framer
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« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2013, 08:05:59 PM »

yeah, my understanding is that they come up with the money for ponds within a few months here.  fencing and barnes etc. apparently take a little longer.    
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