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Old 07-06-2008, 08:00 AM
 
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Default Best way to start on ag exemption?

I have 20 acres in the city and want to start the (long) ag exemption process. Any suggestions on how to begin?
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Old 07-06-2008, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
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Talk to your county ag appraiser and your county agent. While there's a statewide law, each county can interpret some parts of it their own way. You'd do best to find that out before proceeding just to save time, money, energy, and angst.

I'd also recommend that you read the Texas statutes regarding ag appraisal. They can be found online - I'm out the door and don't have time to pull them up or I'd link to them for you.
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Old 07-06-2008, 07:06 PM
 
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you may have already investigated this but.........wildlife exemptions maybe quicker and easier
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Old 07-06-2008, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
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Nope. You already have to have your regular 1.d.1 ag for at least a year before you can get your wildlife.
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:08 AM
 
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no kidding? thanks for the info!
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:56 AM
 
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I have attached what I believe to be the best description of the two types of ag exemptions in Texas.

The one that the county seems to keep quiet about is 1-d (state application form attached) which basically states that if you make your living off the land, then it must be valued on its capacity to produce agricultural products, not its market value.

This definition is interesting because it would not take too much land (possibly .5 acres) to have an organic urban farm capable of providing $40k-$50k in income (see SPIN-Farming).

If one were to make their primary living off said .5 arce lot, I don't see how the appraisal district would have any choice but to figure out a way to divide the lot into a "agricultural" portion and a "living portion" to come up with an adjusted appraised value.

Presently, I think they like to have the "living" portion of the tract be a minimum of 1 acre but I don't know how they can disregard the Texas Tax Code if you were indeed making a living of a parcel that could be less than their standard amount.

Any opinions?
Attached Files
File Type: pdf ag.exempt.pdf (84.4 KB, 3206 views)
File Type: pdf 1-d.application.pdf (216.0 KB, 1658 views)
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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I suppose they could argue the intent of the tax code in court until you went broke (common strategy for lots of things), but I think that if you really were making a living off the farm, they would allow the exemption. On the other hand, some zoning may prohibit businesses from being operated on residential property, and that might be a problem.
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:08 AM
 
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It'll be worth the effort. My dad has 140 acres and he seriously paid $16 in property taxes last year because of the ag exemption. It's not high dollar acreage like in Central Texas but still if he didn't have the exemption it would've been around $2500-3000 in taxes.
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Yeah, my dad pays ~$80/year for 20 acres in ag use, but he is really out in the country and is really using the land for ag purposes.
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
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There is a minimum amount of land that you have to have to qualify for an ag exemption. (I had to defend our ag last year, and I went back and re-read the entire statute beforehand - sometimes it pays to be able to read legalese, and in this case it definitely did!)

.5 acre wouldn't count. It's too small for either 1.d or 1.d.1. Plus, if you live on it, there's an automatic (in most counties) house and 1 acre homestead that goes into play. Wildlife has a different minimum amount - there are three minimum amounts that can apply, and the counties have to pick one and use that for everyone. It varies by county, mainly because Texas has a varied enough landscape, topography, climate, flora and fauna, that one amount is not appropriate for every area.

When we defended our ag, I learned more than I really wanted to know about all this stuff. But it comes in handy in my business, too.
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