Frequently Asked Questions: Agriculture

Q: What is Ag / Timber valuation?
A: It is a preferential assessment based on the productive capacity of the land to raise livestock, crops or timber rather than on the real estate market value of the land.

Q: What do I need to do qualify for Agriculture valuation?
A: You must apply for the Agriculture valuation and the property must meet the State mandated criteria for the Agriculture valuation/designation.

Q: What land qualifies for Agriculture/timber appraisal?
A: Taxpayers may qualify under open-space valuation, also called 1-d-1 appraisal. our land must meet the following criteria: Currently, the land must be devoted principally to agriculture use and/or timber production. Agriculture land and timberland must be devoted to production at a level of intensity that is common in the local area. Timberland must be used with the intent to produce income. The land must have been devoted to agricultural and/or timber production for at least five (5) of the past seven (7) years. Very few land owners may fall under 1-d or agriculture use appraisal since owners have to show at least 50% of their income come from farming or ranching.

Q: What includes Agriculture use?
A: Agricultural use includes the following: Production of crops, livestock, poultry, fish or cover crops. Leaving the land idle for a government program or for normal crop or livestock rotation. Land used for raising certain exotic animals or birds to produce human food or other items of commercial value and wood for use in fences or structures on adjacent agricultural land also qualifies.

Q: What type of animals would I need to have to qualify?
A: The State Property Tax Code states keeping or raising livestock. Livestock means a domesticated animal that derives its primary nourishment from vegetation, supplemented if necessary with commercial feed. Livestock includes meat or dairy cattle, horses, goats, sheep, swine, and poultry. Wild animals are not livestock.

Q: Does my property need to be fenced off?
A: Although the State Property Tax Code does not address the fence issue, a typical ranch/farm and prudent owner would have his property fenced off.

Q: Who must apply for the Agriculture valuation/designation, the owner or lessee?
A: The owner is responsible for applying for the Agriculture valuation/designation.

Q: How do I apply for agricultural valuation?
A: You must follow these guidelines: Obtain an application form from the appraisal district office or download online. Fill the application form out completely and return it to the Nueces County Appraisal District's office. File the application in timely manner on or after January 1st but no later than April 30 th. If your property is valued by more than one appraisal district, which occurs whenever a taxing unit crosses county lines, you must file an application with each appraisal district office.

Q: What is the time frame for filing an application for agriculture valuation?
A: Time frame for filing is after January 1st but no later than April 30th, without any penalty. If you miss the April 30 deadline, you may still file an application any time before the appraisal records are certified by Appraisal Review Board, which usually occurs on or about July 20. You will be charged a penalty for late filing equal to 10 percent of the tax savings you obtained through receiving agricultural appraisal for your land. This is a one time penalty. After the ARB approves the records, you can no longer apply for agricultural appraisal for that year.

Q: What are rollback taxes and how are they triggered?
A: The rollback tax is the difference between the taxes you paid on your land's agricultural value and the taxes you would have paid if the land had been taxed on a higher market value for the last five (5) year. In addition, seven (7) percent interest is charged for each year from the date on which taxes would have been due. A rollback taxe for each of the previous five (5) years are triggered when the agriculture or timber use of land changes to nonagricultural use.

Q: What is Wildlife Management (WLM)?
A: The managing of indigenous wild animals those are native to Texas.

Q: What do I need to do qualify for WLM?
A: You must apply for the Agriculture valuation application along with a WLM PLAN. The property must meet the State mandated criteria for the WLM.

Q: How do I qualify for WLM? Or what are the criteria for WLM?
A: You must follow these guidelines. The land must previously qualify for Open Space (1-d-1) Appraisal before applying for WLM status. The land must be used primarily for the management of one or more indigenous wild animals not farming or ranching. Targeted species must be used for human consumption, medicine or recreation. The land must be managed to the degree of intensity typical for the area and must properly sustain the targeted species. At the time the landowner applies for WLM status, at least three of the following seven management practices must be in use to sustain a breeding, migrating or wintering population of indigenous wild animals. Habitat Control Erosion Control Predator Control Provide Supplemental supplies of water Provide Supplemental supplies of food Provide Supplemental Shelter Making Census Counts A written WLM Plan must be submitted to the chief appraiser on a Texas Parks and Wildlife department ( TPWD) supplied form before May 1st. Described activities and practices must be consistent with TPWD recommendations for the region where the property is located.

Q: Where can I get the WLM Plan form?
A: You may obtain the WLM Plan form from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department office. Local Office Address: 5201 Bob Bullock, Laredo, Texas Phone (956) 725-3826 Main Office: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department , 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744 Toll Free: (800) 792-1112, Austin: (512) 389-4800 Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us.

Q: Will I pay less tax if I qualify for Agriculture Valuation or WLM?
A: Nueces County Appraisal District doesn't assess or deal with tax rates but agricultural valuation or WLM designation lowers the taxable value of land than the market value of land and typically reduces property tax bills for current year.

Q: Who makes the final determination on Agriculture Valuation or WLM application?
A: The Chief Appraiser makes the final determination on the application. The chief appraiser might approve the application or might request additional information and/or request property inspection. If the chief appraiser rejects the application, a denial notice is sent to the owner to the address given in the application by mail.

Q: If I disagree with denial notice or decision of chief appraiser, what can I do about it?
A: If you disagree, you may file a protest with the appraisal review board. You must file this protest within 30 days of the date on which the notice was mailed to you.