There are all sorts of weird laws aren't there? As you mention it is unfortunate that ones like this are only viable and beneficial for the ultra-rich! Heck yes, I would rent a cow if it saved me money in the long run :). Though I do have plenty of cow smell coming from local 'factory farms' that cures me of the desire to have any animal within a hundred miles of me. But that is a story for another day.
The Rent a Cow Loophole
You read that right, there is a provision in the Florida tax code that provides a significant tax break for people who want to rent a cow. This has got to be one of the strangest tax loopholes I have heard about. You may get excited about the prospect of saving a considerable amount of money this way, especially for all of you cow lovers out there, though you should know that it only applies to certain types of land such as commercial property. Anyone who owns commercial real estate can take advantage of this law, but unfortunately it does not apply to residential property.
When the law was created in the mid-twentieth century many new developments existed, and law makers where pressured to find ways to protect agricultural land from unscrupulous land owners. Of the many strange laws that where enacted, the rent-a-cow one is definitely on the bizarre side.
There are some pretty strange laws that exist, but in terms of the ones that effect someones ability to save money, this is high on the list. The state of Florida losses hundreds of millions of dollars a year because of law like this, and many famous people take advantage of that fact. Simply put, if cows are put on the land to graze, these individuals can save a considerable amount of money each year and do so in a way that is completely legal, as strange a that may be.
The law was put into place originally to help protect farm land from greedy real estate owners. Any purchase of this land by people who only intend to use it for buildings can hurt the local economy and damage property values. Many prominent individuals and corporations use it to save a large amount of money. Walt Disney is saving $1.5 million each year from utilizing this tax break. Senator Bill Nelson saves $43,000 by having six cows on his property. There are many others who take advantage of this as well, after all wouldn’t you save that kind of money if you could? But in the end this is hurting the government and the taxpayers of Florida who are not able to take advantage of this, which I bet is the majority. There are good tax deductions like the mortgage tax deduction, then there are the bad deductions that only the ultra rich can take advantage of, like this one. This is a tax loophole that the government needs to end. If you are interested in learning more go here.
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About the Author: KC Beavers is a semi-retired entrepreneur. The subject of personal finance has always fascinated him. In an effort to not bore those around him with all his love of personal finance as much he has come here to bore all of you instead. Be sure to follow KC on Twitter or Google+.
There are so many funny laws in this country :) Florida seems to have a lot of millionaires that find ways to get out of paying taxes!
That's weird. But hey, it's America. There are a lot of much weirder stuff I've seen and "herd" than renting a cow. lol
It's funny that you posted this, I used to live in Florida and there was a piece of property directly across from the mall that had no buildings or anything on it, except a cow. I'm guessing they were taking advantage of that loophole. The cow never looked distressed but really, smackdab in the middle of the city like that was no place for a cow, it just seemed very odd. :)
Thank you for stopping by my blog. yup we all have our own reasons for blogging. And as long as we're doing it properly without hurting anyone, we're good.
Rent a cow is really bizarre. When I read the title I was confused at first.