The Florida Department of Revenue ("Department") recently confirmed an exemption regarding a real property lease on a private street. A radio broadcaster obtained use rights for tower space and fixtures for radio signal transmissions. The landowner constructed the tower site on its private dirt access road, which it widened at the tower site to accommodate traffic on the land.
Florida provides an exemption for property constituting a public or private street or right-of-way, on which certain improvements or fixtures are located. The following must be satisfied for the exemption to apply: (1) the property must be a public or private street or right-of-way; (2) poles, fixtures, and similar improvements must be located on the street or right-of-way; (3) a utility provider or provider of communications services must occupy or use the property; and (4) the property must be used for utility, communications, or television purposes. The Department determined that a "street" included types of roads located in a town or city, and "roads" included dirt track roads such as the one in question. Since the radio broadcaster was a communication services provider and used the tower for communications purposes, the exemption applied.