Texas Comptroller's Property Tax Rules
Chapter 9. Property Tax Administration
Texas Administrative Code, Title 34, Part I
Subchapter I. Validation Procedures
The [Comptroller of Public Accounts] adopts by reference the Manual for the Appraisal of Agricultural Land, as amended December 13, 1989, the amendments to be effective on January 13, 1990. This document is published by and available from the [Comptroller's Property Tax Division, P. O. Box 13528, Austin Texas 78711-3528 or on the Web at www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/ proptax/proptax.html].
Effective April 30, 1980, 5 TexReg 1491; amended to be effective February 10, 1982, 7 TexReg 359; amended to be effective March 27, 1982, 7 TexReg 1059; amended to be effective April 26, 1983, 8 TexReg 1218; amended to be effective January 21, 1986, 11 TexReg 93; amended to be effective April 19, 1988, 13 TexReg 1611; amended to be effective February 21, 1990, 15 TexReg 658; transferred effective November 26, 1991, as published in the Texas Register September 18, 1992, 17 TexReg 6481.
Agricultural use land appraisal, see Secs. 23.41-23.46.
Open-space land appraisal, see Secs. 23.51-23.57.
(a) Purpose. The purpose of this section is to implement the legislative intent of House Bill 3123, 77th Legislature, 2001, as follows:
(1) to encourage the preservation of open space for wildlife management and conservation of the state's natural heritage in all areas of the state;
(2) to create definitive standards for tax appraisers to follow in determining the qualification of property for appraisal on the basis of wildlife management use;
(3) to create a mechanism in addition to traditional agricultural use to allow ranchers, farmers, and land managers to conserve open space;
(4) to affirm local control of property taxation;
(5) to preserve revenue neutrality for all concerned parties; and
(6) to allow each property currently qualified in wildlife management use to continue appraised as open space land.
(b) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
(1) Human use--The use of indigenous wildlife or habitat for food, medicine, or recreation by humans.
(2) Indigenous wildlife--All native animals that originated in or naturally migrated or migrate through an area and that are capable of living naturally in that area. The term does not include exotic livestock as defined by Agriculture Code, Sec. 142.001.
(3) Migrating population--Indigenous wildlife that moves between seasonal ranges.
(4) Sustained breeding population--A group or population of indigenous wildlife that is capable of perpetuating itself through natural breeding.
(5) Recreation--An active or passive activity for pleasure or sport.
(6) Wildlife management property association--A group of landowners whose tracts of land:
(A) are contiguous, provided that the presence of public roads and bodies of water does not affect the contiguity of the tracts;
(B) are subject to provisions of subsection (f)(2) of this section;
(C) are qualified under Tax Code, Chapter 23, Subchapter D; and
(D) are subject to a written agreement, that legally obligates the owner of each tract of land to perform the activities necessary to qualify for wildlife management use appraisal under this section.
(7) Wildlife use appraisal regions designated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department:
(A) Region 1--Brewster, Crane, Culberson, El Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Loving, Pecos, Presidio, Reeves, Ward, and Winkler counties.
(B) Region 2--Andrews, Aransas, Archer, Armstrong, Atascosa, Bailey, Baylor, Bee, Borden, Briscoe, Brooks, Callahan, Cameron, Carson, Castro, Childress, Cochran, Coke, Coleman, Collingsworth, Concho, Cottle, Crockett, Crosby, Dallam, Dawson, Deaf Smith, Dickens, Dimmit, Donley, Duval, Ector, Edwards, Fisher, Floyd, Foard, Frio, Gaines, Garza, Glasscock, Gray, Hale, Hall, Hansford, Hardeman, Hartley, Haskell, Hemphill, Hidalgo, Hockley, Howard, Hutchinson, Irion, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Jones, Kenedy, Kent, Kimble, King, Kinney, Kleberg, Knox, Lamb, La Salle, Lipscomb, Live Oak, Lubbock, Lynn, McMullen, Martin, Maverick, Medina, Menard, Midland, Mitchell, Moore, Motley, Nolan, Nueces, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Reagan, Real, Refugio, Roberts, Runnels, San Patricio, Schleicher, Scurry, Shackelford, Sherman, Starr, Sterling, Stonewall, Sutton, Swisher, Taylor, Terrell, Terry, Throckmorton, Tom Green, Upton, Uvalde, Val Verde, Webb, Wheeler, Wichita, Wilbarger, Willacy, Yoakum, Zavala, and Zapata counties.
(C) Region 3--Bandera, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Bosque, Brown, Burnet, Clay, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Denton, Eastland, Erath, Gillespie, Hamilton, Hays, Hood, Jack, Johnson, Kendall, Kerr, Lampasas, Llano, McCulloch, Mason, Mills, Montague, Palo Pinto, Parker, San Saba, Somervell, Stephens, Tarrant, Travis, Williamson, Wise, and Young counties.
(D) Region 4--Anderson, Angelina, Austin, Bastrop, Bowie, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Camp, Cass, Chambers, Cherokee, Collin, Colorado, Dallas, Delta, DeWitt, Ellis, Falls, Fannin, Fayette, Fort Bend, Franklin, Freestone, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Grayson, Gregg, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Harrison, Henderson, Hill, Hopkins, Houston, Hunt, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Kaufman, Lamar, Lavaca, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Limestone, McLennan, Madison, Marion, Matagorda, Milam, Montgomery, Morris, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Newton, Orange, Panola, Polk, Rains, Red River, Robertson, Rockwall, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington, Wharton, Wilson, and Wood counties.
(8) Wildlife use percentage--The percentage of a tract of land that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has determined must be in wildlife management use for the land to be qualified for appraisal based on wildlife management use. This percentage is calculated using the total acreage of the tract minus one as the numerator, and the total acreage as the denominator.
(9) Wintering population--Indigenous wildlife that occupies an area during the winter as a consequence of natural migratory behavior.
(10) Tract--The entire area of a parcel or contiguous parcels of land, as reflected in appraisal district records, under common ownership.
(c) The Guidelines for Qualification of Agricultural Land in Wildlife Management Use shall be the reference used by the chief appraiser in each county to determine the qualification of property for appraisal based on wildlife management use. These guidelines may be obtained by contacting the Comptroller of Public Accounts, Property Tax Division, P.O. Box 13528, Austin, Texas 78711-3528 [or on the Web at www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/ proptax/proptax.html].
(d) Wildlife Management Plan.
(1) A Wildlife Management Plan shall be completed on a form supplied by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for each tract of land for which appraisal based on wildlife management use is sought. The form and regional management plans may be obtained by contacting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744-3291. The activities and practices contained in the plan shall be consistent with the activities and practices recommended in the appropriate Texas Parks and Wildlife Department regional management plan for the region in which the property is located, and shall include:
(A) information on ownership and the property's history and current use;
(B) specific species targeted for wildlife management activities and practices;
(C) landowner goals for the property; and
(D) specific qualifying wildlife and habitat management activities and practices that support the species being managed.
(2) A wildlife property association may prepare a single Wildlife Management Plan, provided the information required by paragraph (1)(A) - (D) of this subsection is included for each tract in the wildlife management association.
(e) Qualifications for appraisal based on wildlife management use.
(1) Land qualifies for appraisal based on wildlife management use if:
(A) it is appraised as qualified open space land under Tax Code, Sec. 23.51(1);
(B) it is instrumental in supporting a sustaining breeding, migrating, or wintering population of indigenous wildlife;
(C) the indigenous wildlife population is produced for human use as defined under subsection (b)(2) of this section;
(D) the wildlife management plan required by this subsection is being implemented; and
(E) no fewer than three of the activities and practices described in Guidelines for Qualification of Agricultural Land in Wildlife Management are performed on the land in any given year.
(2) A tract of land that is appraised as qualified open space land under the provisions of Tax Code, Chapter 23, Subchapter D, shall be eligible for appraisal based on wildlife management use at the request of the owner of the tract of land, provided the request is made prior to May 1.
(3) The provisions of subsection (f) of this section apply to any application for appraisal based on wildlife management use if:
(A) in the previous tax year the tract was part of a larger tract which was appraised under any provision of Tax Code, Chapter 23, Subchapter D; and
(B) ownership of the tract is different from the ownership that existed on January 1 of the previous tax year.
(4) The provisions of subsection (f) of this section apply to any application for appraisal based on wildlife management use if:
(A) in the previous tax year the tract was appraised based on wildlife management use; and
(B) ownership of the tract is different from the ownership that existed on January 1 of the previous tax year and the resulting tract contains less acreage than the tract contained prior to the change in ownership.