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Texas Wildlife Management

 
pollinator
Posts: 11802
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1051
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I'm wondering if there are any other Texans here with wildlife management tax status on their land? For those who don't know, Texas grants lower property taxes to landowners who practice agriculture and then transition to wildlife management. The purpose of this is to preserve open space in Texas. http://tpwd.texas.gov/landwater/land/private/agricultural_land/

We obtained agricultural status on our land by raising chickens and sheep, and now we manage for songbirds and amphibians. Each year we're required to submit an Annual Report outlining what we're doing to create or preserve habitat for the critters. A minimum of three wildlife management practices is required, from this list of practices. I usually try to do more than three, just to be safe.

• Habitat control
• Erosion control
• Predator control
• Provide supplemental supplies of water
• Provide supplemental supplies of food
• Provide shelters
• Making census counts to determine population

Here are my activities:

Habitat control

• Brush management: Hand cutting (chainsaw), in a mosaic design
• Habitat protection: Fencing

Erosion control

•Streamside revegetation: Rock dams, brush dams

Providing supplemental water

• Artificially created wetlands
Watering facilities: Stock tanks, garden pond

Providing supplemental food

• Food plots: Annual and perennial mix of native plants
• Feeders: Bird feeders, hanging and platform

Providing supplemental shelter

•Brushpiles: 5 per acre



 
pollinator
Posts: 128
Location: Gaines County, Texas South of Seminole, Tx zone 7b/8a
19
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I haven't looked into that only been back home on my land for 2 years now. Just been seeding the lands each year to put cover on the soils and have it as a homestead right now which did lower my taxes by 500 this year on the 15 acres with my place on it.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 11802
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1051
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Definitely look into trying to get agricultural status if your taxes are high and especially if you plan to farm anyway. Each county may have different rules for how to do it - some have a minimum number of acres for ag (our county has 20 acres as the minimum). Your county appraisal district can tell you. The easiest way to obtain ag status is to raise goats or sheep, because even with a small parcel you can have a breeding flock. You have to practice ag for 5 out of 7 years to get ag status, although if the land had ag status when you bought it, you may be able to use some of the previous owner's years; for instance if you start raising goats this year, you may be able to obtain ag status next year. You can apply for wildlife management status the year after you obtain ag status. You can still practice ag after getting wildlife management as long as the ag doesn't conflict with the wildlife.

Here's a link to more information: http://comptroller.texas.gov/taxinfo/proptax/agtimbr/index.html

Our property taxes were cut in half by obtaining ag status, so in the long run we'll save tens of thousands of dollars.

It's possible your land already has ag status because your county just assumes you're farming, but check to make sure!
 
gardener
Posts: 3054
Location: Central Texas zone 8a
710
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We are 3 years into a 5 year wait to get a status. Previous owner had cows and horses but was a disabled vet so paid no property taxes without getting the exemption. The 5 year wait is equal to probably $15,000, so it's def worth checking into prior to purchase. We got an an exceptional deal imo so it works out.

I heard, but haven't verified, that getting one animal like an alpaca (exotic) will give you ag status. Im sure rules change all the time. Each region has their own rules.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 11802
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1051
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wayne fajkus wrote:
I heard, but haven't verified, that getting one animal like an alpaca (exotic) will give you ag status. Im sure rules change all the time. Each region has their own rules.



It depends entirely on the county. For instance in our county, leasing out land to graze a horse is not agriculture, whereas cutting hay from the same land to feed to the same horse is agriculture. We leased grazing land to my sister for her horse, only to find that we were not practicing agriculture. We even went in front of the appraisal review board to argue our position, and pointed out the passages in the Texas tax code that state grazing horse is an agricultural activity. But they said no. So we had to get a small herd of sheep.
 
Posts: 30
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Year 2 out of 5 here. I didn't know about the wildlife thing though, so that's good to know.
 
wayne fajkus
gardener
Posts: 3054
Location: Central Texas zone 8a
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In my county horses qualify. Adjacent county is a no go.
 
steward
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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So we had to get a small herd of sheep.


I  guess that is how the government interprets it:   Sheep are wildlife management - they provide food for the coyotes !
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 11802
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1051
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John Polk wrote:
I  guess that is how the government interprets it:   Sheep are wildlife management - they provide food for the coyotes !



The sheep were the agricultural activity. One has to obtain agricultural status before one obtains wildlife management status. We can keep the sheep even though we now have wildlife management because the sheep don't obviously conflict with the wildlife. The neighbors sold their sheep once they got wildlife management status, because they were intelligent enough not to make pets of them, unlike us....
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