What is a Texas Agricultural Tax Exemption?
A Texas Agricultural Exemption for property taxes is not really an exemption but rather a special use valuation for a tract of land.
If a landowner makes certain uses of their land such as hay production, raising livestock, managing wildlife or leasing for hunting, they may apply to have their land taxed at its agricultural productivity value rather than its market value. A few qualified uses include pasture land, mixed timber, native pasture, hunting lease or wildlife management.
Minimum acreage requirements will vary between Texas counties but often range from 3 acres for goats and sheep to 20 acres minimum for cattle. The net effect to a landowner engaging their land in one of the qualified agricultural uses would be a substantial reduction in their property tax bill. Land in East Texas in agricultural exemption can, on average, reduce annual property taxes to between $2 and $4 per acre.
Having ag exempt tax status on your land does not preclude you from multiple uses: you can still hunt it if you are grazing cattle or bale hay if you have a herd of goats. You can also build a home or weekend cabin on property that is in agricultural exemption. The county appraisal district will exclude 1 to 2 acres as the ‘footprint’ of your improvements and the remaining acreage can continue to be taxed as ag or wildlife exempt as long as you continue a qualified use.