Section Talking Points
- Agricultural appraisal
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The Texas agricultural exemption is not technically an exemption. It is a county appraisal district assessment valuation based on agricultural use. Therefore, it is actually an agricultural appraisal. Landowners may apply for this special appraisal status based on their land's productivity value rather than on what the land would sell for on the open market. Typically, a productivity value is lower than the market value, which results in a lower property tax. Landowners must use their land for agriculture. There is a rollback tax for taking agricultural land out of its productivity use.
Property owners may qualify for an agricultural appraisal status if their land meets the following criteria:
- The land must be devoted principally to agricultural use. Agricultural use includes producing crops, livestock, poultry, fish, or cover crops. It also can include leaving the land idle for a government program or for normal crop or livestock rotation. Land used for raising certain exotic animals (including exotic birds) to produce human food or other items of commercial value qualifies.
- TheUsing land for wildlife management is an agricultural use, if such land was previously qualified open-space land and is actively used for wildlife management. Wildlife management land must be used in at least three of seven specific ways to propagate a breeding population of wild animals for human use.
- Agricultural land must be devoted to production at a level of intensity that is common in the local area.
- The land must have been devoted to agricultural production for at least five of the past seven years. However, land within the city limits must have been devoted continuously for the preceding five years, unless the land did not receive substantially equal city services as other properties in the city.
If land receiving an agricultural appraisal changes to a non-agricultural use, the property owner who changes the use will owe a rollback tax. The rollback tax is due for each of the previous five years in which the land received the lower appraisal. The rollback tax is the difference between the taxes paid on the land's agricultural value and the taxes paid if the land had been taxed on its higher market value. Plus, the owner pays 7 percent interest for each year from the date the taxes would have been due.
The form used to apply for an agricultural appraisal may be downloaded below.
Download Agricultural Appraisal form.
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