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Texas Comptroller's Property Tax Rules
Chapter 9. Property Tax Administration
Texas Administrative Code, Title 34, Part I

Subchapter I. Validation Procedures

Sec. 9.4001. Valuation of Open-Space and Agricultural Lands.

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.

Cross References:
Agricultural use land appraisal, see Secs. 23.41-23.46.
Open-space land appraisal, see Secs. 23.51-23.57.

Sec. 9.4003. Wildlife Management Use.

(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.

(f) Percentage of acreage to be dedicated to wildlife management. The Appraisal District Board of Directors in each county shall designate a wildlife use percentage that shall apply to each tract of land for which a wildlife use qualification is sought.

(1) The wildlife use percentage shall be selected from the percentage ranges specified for the county by the following, as applicable:

(A) Region 1--not less than 97% or more than 99%;

(B) Region 2--not less than 96% or more than 98%;

(C) Region 3--not less than 93% or more than 95%; and

(D) Region 4--not less than 92% or more than 94%.

(2) The wildlife use percentage for properties within a wildlife management property association shall be as follows:

(A) Region 1--either 95% or 96%;

(B) Region 2--either 94% or 95%;

(C) Region 3--either 91% or 92%; and

(D) Region 4--either 90% or 91%.

(3) The wildlife use percentage for a property in an area designated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as habitat for an endangered species, a threatened species, or a candidate species for listing as threatened or endangered shall be as set forth in this subsection; however, the wildlife and habitat management plan for such a property must address specific practices and activities intended to benefit specific species.

(A) Region 1--either 95% or 96%;

(B) Region 2--either 94% or 95%;

(C) Region 3--either 91% or 92%; and

(D) Region 4--either 90% or 91%.

(g) Effective date. Effective tax year beginning January 1, 2002, except as otherwise provided by subsection (h) of this section, to qualify for appraisal based on wildlife management use, a property must meet the standards established by this section. Provided however, that a property owner who demonstrates, by clear and convincing evidence, that the unique characteristics of their habitat and/or managed species makes it possible to effectively manage for wildlife at a ratio less than that otherwise required under subsection (f) of this section, the property shall qualify for appraisal based on wildlife management, as long as the property meets all other standards established by this section.

(h) Exception. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a property that was appraised as qualified open space land based on wildlife management use prior to tax year January 1, 2002, shall continue to be appraised as open space land as provided by Tax Code, Chapter 23, Subchapter D, as long as the entire tract subject to the qualification contains an equal or greater amount of qualifying acreage than the acreage contained in that tract prior to January 1, 2002, and except for subsection (f) of this section, continues to satisfy all requirements for qualification established by this section.

Effective July 14, 2002, 27 TexReg 6046.

Cross References:
Open-space land appraisal, see Secs. 23.51-23.57.
Wildlife management standards, see Sec. 23.521.

Sec. 9.4005. Formulas for Interstate Allocation of the Tax Value of Railroad Rolling Stock.

The value of railroad stock will be allocated to this state in the proportion of the total market value of the rolling stock that fairly reflects its uses in this state during the preceding tax year by ascertaining the average number of cars found to be habitually within the borders of the state or the average amount of the property habitually used or employed in the state; or, when such method will produce a more just, fair, equitable, and lawful result, by ascertaining the proportion of the total distance in miles of main line track, branch line tract, and side, yard, and spur track located in the state which the railroad company operates in comparison with the total distance in miles of such tract which the railroad company operates.

Effective May 26, 1980, 5 TexReg 1852; transferred effective November 26, 1991, as published in the Texas Register September 18, 1992, 17 TexReg 6481.

Cross References:
Railroad rolling stock appraisal, see Secs. 24.31-24.40.
Interstate allocation of railroad rolling stock, see Sec. 24.34.
Intrastate apportionment of railroad rolling stock, see Sec. 24.37 and art. VIII, Sec. 8, Tex. Const.

Sec. 9.4009. Appraisal of Recreation, Park, and Scenic Land.

The [Comptroller of Public Accounts] adopts by reference "Guidelines for the Appraisal of Recreational, Park, and Scenic Land" to be effective August 3, 1982. 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 August 2, 1982, 7 TexReg 2709; transferred effective November 26, 1991, as published in the Texas Register September 18, 1992, 17 TexReg 6481.

Cross References:
Recreational, park and scenic land appraisal, see Secs. 23.81-23.87.

Sec. 9.4010. Appraisal of Public Access Airport Property.

The [Comptroller of Public Accounts] adopts by reference "Guidelines for the Appraisal of Public Access Airport Property" to be effective January 1, 1983. 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 January 4, 1983, 7 TexReg 4463; transferred effective November 26, 1991, as published in the Texas Register September 18, 1992, 17 TexReg 6481.

Cross References:
Public access airport property appraisal, see Secs. 23.91-23.97.

Sec. 9.4011. Appraisal of Timberlands.

Adoption of the Manual for the Appraisal of Timberland. This manual sets out both the eligibility requirements for timberland to qualify for productivity appraisal and the methodology for appraising qualified timberland and restricted use timberland. Appraisal districts are required by law to follow the procedures and methodology set out in this manual. The Comptroller of Public Accounts adopts by reference the Manual for the Appraisal of Timberland. Copies of this manual can be obtained from 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]. Copies may also be requested by calling our toll-free number 1-800-252-9121. In Austin, call (512) 305-9999. From a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD), call 1-800-248-4099, toll free. In Austin, the local TDD number is (512) 463-4621. This manual and those that have been superseded are available from the Comptroller's office as well as the State Archives.

Effective May 9, 1983, 8 TexReg 1410; transferred effective November 26, 1991, as published in the Texas Register September 18, 1992, 17 TexReg 6481; amended to be effective August 6, 1996, 21 TexReg 7046; amended to be effective May 3, 2004, 29 TexReg 4229.

Cross References:
Procedures for determining taxable value and appraisal performance measures for utilities, minerals, industrial property, and agricultural property, see Rule Sec. 9.4014.
Timberland appraisal, see Secs. 23.71-23.79.

Sec. 9.4013. Residential Real Property Inventory Appraisal.

(a) A residential real property inventory is one or more platted lots or tracts, and improvements, if any, meeting the following criteria:

(1) they are under the same ownership;

(2) they are contiguous to one another or are located in the same subdivision of development;

(3) they are held for sale in the ordinary course of business;

(4) they are subject to zoning restrictions limiting them to residential use, or, if not subject to zoning, they are:

(A) subject to enforceable deed restrictions limiting them to residential use; or

(B) their highest and best use is as residential property;

(5) they have never been occupied for residential purpose; and

(6) they are not presently leased or producing income.

(b) A residential real property inventory shall be appraised as a unit at the price for which it would transfer to another person continuing the business, using generally accepted techniques for the appraisal of subdivisions and similar properties.

Effective August 22, 1988, 13 TexReg 3877; transferred effective November 26, 1991, as published in the Texas Register September 18, 1992, 17 TexReg 6481.

Cross References:
Residential real property inventory, see Sec. 23.12.