Wildlife Management and Taxes
Wildlife management allows a Texas landowner, new or existing, a way to keep property taxes low.
There are basically two types of landowners that want to transition their land into wildlife management use:
- The landowner that is enamored with the flora, fauna and taxonomy classification for all species on the property. This person may want to bring back a specific species of plant or enhance the habitat for the benefit of a targeted species of wildlife. Many landowners I deal with are do it your selfers. As an educator, I help guide these landowners to sources of information that will help accomplish their task(s). When a biologist is needed they are available and on my team roster.
- The other type of landowner is the one that is concerned about keeping the land taxes at a favorable rate, wants to practice conservation while maintaining a great property for family use (99.9% of the wildlife plans I write fit this landowner).
Before you buy land you must determine if the land is being appraised as agricultural land or is it being taxed at market value. This will make a big difference on your bottom tax line.
To have the land appraised for wildlife management use, it must FIRST have an agricultural valuation by the county tax appraisal district. In other words "be ag exempt". The term "ag exemption" does not mean you pay no taxes. It is a misused term and means that the land has an agricultural valuation on it.
The Texas Constitution, the Texas Property Tax Code and the Texas Administrative Code allow Texas land to be appraised for wildlife management use. It is not subject to how the local county tax appraisal district feels. It is law.
The land must be appraised and qualified for agricultural valuation before you are approved to transition into wildlife management use.
You must perform 3 out of 7 practices to qualify the land to be appraised for wildlife management use.
- HABITAT CONTROL
- EROSION CONTROL
- PREDATOR CONTROL
- PROVIDING SUPPLEMENTAL WATER
- PROVIDING SUPPLEMENTAL FOOD
- PROVIDING SHELTERS
- MAKING CENSUS COUNTS