Property Owned and Held As Open Space for Future Needs by Municipality Exempt from Taxation

In City of Sarasota v. Mikos, 374 So. 2d 458, 460 (Fla. 1979), the Court held that property owned and held as open space or reserved for future needs was constitutionally exempt from ad valorem taxation under article VII, section 3(a). See 374 So. 2d at 460. The Court recognized that "property owned by a municipality is not exempt from taxation if it is used for a private purpose," but held that "vacant land held by a municipality is presumed to be in use for a public purpose if it is not actually in use for a private purpose on tax assessment day." Id. at 460-61. The Court noted that although article VII, section 3(a) permits taxation of municipally owned property located outside the municipality if authorized by general law, the Legislature had not authorized such taxation. See id. at 847; accord Schultz v. Crystal River Three Participants, 686 So. 2d 1391, 1392-93 (Fla. 5th DCA 1997) (in absence of general law requiring payments to tax unit in which plant was located, cities' interest in nuclear power plant was tax exempt under article VII, section 3(a) and section 196.199(2)(c), Florida Statutes).