When it comes to property taxes in Texas, people often refer to getting or keeping an “ag exemption” on their property, but really, it’s a Tax Valuation. While the Ag and Wildlife Tax Valuation for a property may be identical in value, they have different requirements of your property. There are many activities that may qualify your land for Ag Valuation, all requiring that you demonstrate you are using your land for the production of something that will be consumed. If your situation changes, and you no longer want to use your land for agricultural purposes, you could still qualify for a Wildlife Valuation, allowing you to continue to receive that tax benefit. You’ll just need to submit the required documents along with a 5-year Wildlife Management Plan. That’s where we come in.
Wildlife management plans to help reduce property taxes
Landowners with current agricultural (Ag) land tax valuations, that are transitioning out of agricultural practices, can maintain their tax benefits by switching over to wildlife management tax valuation (WM). To be eligible, the land in question must have been valuated as Ag property for 5 of the previous 7 years. To make this transition, each county’s Central Appraisal District (CAD) requires a wildlife management plan be submitted detailing the management activities planned for the improvement of wildlife habitat.
New landowners must either re-apply for Ag tax valuation, or if eligible, transfer to WM valuation the first year they own their new property or risk having to begin the process over again and be 5 years away from wildlife tax valuation eligibility. This can be tricky if you buy your land close to the deadline for filing your land for Ag or Wildlife tax valuation (April 30). Before buying, ensure the seller enrolled the land for Ag valuation and request proof that they have been enrolled at least 5 of the last 7 years. If the land is already enrolled for WM tax valuation, you will need to request all information the previous landowner has on their management activities for a reference of work completed and a legal record in case of audit. Each year landowners are enrolled in WM tax valuation, they are required to complete an annual report of progress toward their management plan as a record of management completed. These reports are not required to be submitted to your CAD each year, but you must be able to provide them if requested.
Wildlife Exemption services offered by Pond King that can help you meet your goals
Management plans will include wildlife species of interest, long and short-term goals, management practices to be undertaken, specific timelines for each project, and recommendations. Contact us for more information if you live outside our regular service area (150-mile radius around Gainesville) so we can discuss helping you create a Wildlife Management Plan.
Wildlife Tax Valuation Standard Plan
If what you really need is help with is navigation the CAD process while transitioning from "Ag Exemption" to Wildlife, the Standard Plan is probably what you want.
Wildlife Tax Valuation Comprehensive Package
If you want to take your management planning to the next level, and need the tools to do it, the Comprehensive Package is right for you.