2000 Open-Space Land Cap Rate Set at 10.9 Percent
In 2000, county appraisal districts (CADs) must use a capitalization rate of 10.9 percent when appraising open-space land. This "cap rate" is 0.9 percent higher than the 1999 cap rate of 10 percent.
Section 23.53, Property Tax Code, requires CADs to use a cap rate that is the greater of either 10 percent or the interest rate charged on the previous Dec. 31 by the Farm Credit Bank of Texas plus 2.5 percent. The bank's interest rate on Dec. 31, 1999, was 8.4 percent. With the 2.5 percent added, that rate became 10.9 percent.
The chart below shows that in recent years, the cap rate has ranged from a low of 10 percent in 1994 and 1999 to a high of 14 percent during the 1980s.
Cap Rates in Recent History Year Percent 1982 13.5 1983 14.0 1984 13.5 1985 14.0 1986 14.0 1987 13.25 1988 12.75 1989 12.45 1990 12.75 1991 12.45 1992 12.0 1993 11.0 1994 10.0 1995 10.75 1996 10.75 1997 10.35 1998 10.6 1999 10.0 2000 10.9
Qualified agricultural land is taxed on its productivity value. To determine that value, CADs first must calculate the typical property owner's income that is generated by the land after certain expenses have been paid--commonly known as net-to-land. The Property Tax Code then requires the CADs to divide the average net-to-land for a five-year period by the annual cap rate to arrive at the land's productivity value.
The cap rate may change annually. When the net-to-land remains the same but the cap rate decreases, the result is a higher productivity value on the land. If the local tax rates remain the same or increase, property owners will pay higher taxes.
When the net-to-land remains the same, but the cap rate increases, property owners will witness a decline in their land's productivity value and pay lower taxes if the tax rates stay the same.
The cap rate is just one of many factors used to appraise agricultural land in Texas. Other factors also can affect the final productivity values.