As we look forward to the coming spring, most folks think of nicer weather, flowers, and the inevitable income tax filing. Texas landowners in particular need to remain vigilant on another tax matter, one that pertains to the annual property tax on their forestlands.
Property taxes on rural land in Texas are based on productivity, not the value of the agricultural crops or standing timber. The State Comptroller’s website states that “The Texas Constitution and Tax Code provide that certain kinds of farm and ranch 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. Landowners 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.”
Property taxes in Texas are administered on the county level by Central Appraisal Districts. In addition to the annual bill for the taxes, the state rules allow for a Chief Appraiser in a county to require landowners to reapply for their timberland status, even when a property owner has been managing the land for timber production for many decades.
Therefore, it is important for landowners to pay close attention to mailings from your County Appraisal District, and to be responsive in answering requests for reapplication and/or additional information. The property taxes on rural land are substantially higher once the timber productivity assessment is removed.
If you have questions about the taxable status of your property, Bird Forestry assists property owners in regard to the various forms and management plans that may be requested by Appraisal Districts. We can help in the review of the appraisal district’s assessments of the types of forestland that they believe exist on your property.
Bird Forestry has been managing and marketing forest products for our clients for 40 years, and we understand the importance of your forestland assets. We can help you set and reach your forest and land management goals.