The Texas “Ag Exemption”
What it is and how it could save you money
Texas Agriculture Exemption
A Texas Ag exemption, as it is usually called, is a way for landowners to save a SIGNIFICANT amount on property taxes. The Texas agriculture exemption allows for a decrease in the amount of property taxes a landowner will be required to pay every year. Though most people refer to this type of exemption as an agriculture exemption, there are actually two types of rural land appraisals that qualify property for this type of exemption. In addition to the Agricultural Use appraisal, there is also the “Open Space” land appraisal.
The Agriculture appraisal method is intended for individuals whose primary occupation and income come from some form of agriculture. This exemption is intended to help legitimate farmers and ranchers in Texas. The agriculture exemption must be reapplied for every year to the county appraiser.
But, if you aren’t a full-time farmer or rancher, you can still get the exemption. The Open Space appraisal method is intended for those who use their land for the following purposes:
- planting and producing crops
- raising and/or keeping livestock or exotic animals
- devoting the land to floriculture, viticulture and horticulture
- producing or harvesting logs and posts for agricultural improvements
- wildlife management (source: https://assets.recenter.tamu.edu/documents/articles/1361.pdf)
This excludes land that is within city limits, land owned by a non-resident alien or foreign government, and land owned by a corporation. The purpose of this exemption is to encourage the preservation of open land in Texas. The status for open space exemption lasts until the land changes uses.
Agricultural and Wildlife Land Valuations
While the agriculture exemption can be helpful for farmers, it can be costly and time-consuming to continue the activities that are required to qualify. Upkeep of farm equipment, livestock feed, etc can be challenging if the land owner is not in agriculture as their main occupation. In this case, the wildlife management exemption may be a better option.
In order to qualify for a wildlife land valuation, the land must have qualified for an agricultural exemption the prior tax year AND meet three of the following requirements:
- habitat control
- erosion control
- predator control
- providing supplemental supplies of water
- providing supplemental supplies of food
- providing shelters
- making census counts to determine population
Each county has a different minimum and maximum number of acres that can qualify for wildlife management. This can be found at the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department website.
If you are interested in finding land that already qualifies for a Texas Agriculture Exemption, contact us! Most of our central Texas land qualifies for the agriculture exemption, and we are happy to answer any questions you may have! You can view our available properties here.