The Texas Constitution and Tax Code provide that certain kinds of farm land be appraised based on the land's capacity to produce agricultural products (productivity value) instead of at market value. In many cases, this appraisal technique substantially reduces taxation of land that qualifies for agricultural appraisal.
Land owners can apply for special appraisal based on the property's productivity value. Productivity value is based on the land's ability to produce agricultural or timber products and is usually lower than market value. Land that is used to manage wildlife may also qualify for special use appraisal.
The Comptroller's Manual for the Appraisal of Agricultural Land (PDF) explains the eligibility requirements and the appraisal procedures for agricultural land, as provided by Tax Code Chapter 23, Subchapters C and D, and is adopted by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts under Comptroller Rule 9.4001 as required by Tax Code Section 23.52(d).
Property owners may qualify for agricultural appraisal if land meets the following criteria.
The application for special appraisal as land qualified open-space agricultural use is Form 50-129, Application for 1-d-1 (Open-Space) Agricultural Use (PDF). The application for special appraisal of land based on its capacity to produce agricultural products is Form 50-165, Application for 1-d Agricultural Appraisal (PDF). The application for special appraisal for ecological laboratories is Form 50-166, Application for Open Space Land Appraisal for Ecological Laboratories (PDF).
If land receiving an agricultural appraisal changes to a non-agricultural use, the property owner who changes the use will owe a rollback tax. The rollback tax is due for each of the previous five years in which the land got the lower appraisal. The rollback tax is the difference between the taxes paid on the land's agricultural value and the taxes paid if the land had been taxed on its higher market value. Plus, the owner pays seven percent interest for each year from the date that the taxes would have been due. For example, the fifth year of rollback tax bill may include as much as 35 percent interest, depending on the date the use changed.
Exceptions to the rollback tax for change of use may include the following if they meet certain criteria:
Productivity value for timber land is based on land's ability to produce timber products (productivity value) and is usually lower than market value. The Comptroller's Manual for the Appraisal of Timberland (PDF) discusses the eligibility requirements for timber land to qualify for productivity appraisal and the methodology for appraising qualified timberland, and is adopted by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts under Comptroller Rule 9.4011 as required by Tax Code Section 23.73(b).
The application for special appraisal as qualified timber land is Form 50-167, Application for 1-d-1 (Open-Space) Timber Land Appraisal (PDF). The application for special appraisal as restricted use timber land is Form 50-281, Application for Restricted-Use Timber Land Appraisal (PDF).
The Comptroller's Guidelines for Qualification of Agricultural Land in Wildlife Management Use (PDF) discuss the requirements that land must meet to qualify for wildlife management use to permit special agricultural appraisal, as provided by Tax Code Section 23.521, and are adopted by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts under Comptroller Rules 9.2001-9.2005.
Wildlife Management Planning Guidelines and Forms, including the required management plan, and other useful information are available from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 855, which requires state agencies to publish a list of the three most commonly used Web browsers on their websites. The Texas Comptroller’s most commonly used Web browsers are Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple Safari.