A Texas Agricultural Exemption for property taxes is actually not an exemption from taxes, but rather a special use valuation for a tract of land. And even though titled an Agricultural Exemption, sub categories include wildlife or timber management uses on your land.
If a landowner makes certain qualified uses of their land such as hay production, raising livestock, timber management, managing wildlife or leasing for hunting, they may apply to have their land taxed at its agricultural productivity value rather than its market value. A few qualified uses include hay production and baling, mixed or planted timber plans, native or improved pasture, hunting leases or wildlife management.
Landowners can apply at the Appraisal District office located in the County where their property is located. You can pick up an application for ag exemption at your County Appraisal District or download one here from the Texas State Comptroller.
Minimum acreage requirements will vary between Texas counties but often range from 3 acres for goats and sheep to 20 acres minimum for cattle. The net effect to a landowner engaging their land in one of the qualified agricultural uses is a substantial reduction in their property tax bill. The value is based on your land’s productivity value of agricultural or timber products and substantially reduces ad valorem property taxes for the landowner.
Having an agricultural exemption – or wildlife or timber exemption – on your land does not preclude you from multiple uses: you can still hunt it if you are grazing cattle or bale hay if you have a herd of goats. You can also build a home or weekend cabin on property that is in agricultural exemption. The county appraisal district will exclude 1 to 2 acres as the ‘footprint’ of any improvements such as a home or cabin and the remaining acreage can continue to be taxed as ag or wildlife exempt as long as you continue one or more of the qualified uses.
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