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Agricultural Use FAQs

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What land qualifies for agriculture appraisal?

The Texas Constitution permits qualified open-space land to be taxed generally at productivity value instead of market value. The legal basis for this type of special valuation called "Ag Use Open Space" or "1-d-1". The land must have been devoted to a qualifying agricultural use for at least five (5) of the preceding seven (7) years. Land under agricultural production must be specifically identified and products produced clearly stated. The land shall be described legally and physically. Physical description identifies the land in categories or classifications such as dry land cropland or native pasture, as well as the number of acres in production. The productive capacity of the land must be described to allow for measurement of agricultural production intensity. If the land is located within the boundaries of a city or town, one of the following requirements must be met in addition to the normal requirements: the city must not provide the land with general services comparable to those in other parts of the city having similar features and population and/or must have been devoted principally to agricultural use continuously for the preceding five years.

Applications must be made on an acceptable form after January 1st and before May 1st of the tax year. If May 1 falls on a weekend or holiday, the next working day is the deadline. Applications received after the deadline will be accepted until the appraisal roll is certified. If approved, late applications will be subject to a penalty of ten percent (10%) of the difference between the amount of the tax imposed on the property at agriculture value (1-d-1) and the amount that would be imposed if the property were taxed at market value. See the Agricultural Valuation Policies link on this site for more details. Agricultural-Use applications can be found here.

What happens if land receiving an agricultural appraisal changes to a non-agricultural use?

If land receiving a 1-d-1 agricultural appraisal changes to a non-agricultural use, the property is subject to a rollback. The rollback tax is due for each of the previous five years in which the land received the special appraisal. The rollback tax is imposed on the difference between the taxes on the land's agricultural value and the taxes calculated if the land had been taxed on its market value. Plus, the owner pays seven percent (7%) 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 thirty five percent (35%) interest, depending on the date the use changed.