Wildlife Exemption for Wildlife Management in Texas

Question: “We own 84 acres in Texas and are interested in wildlife management as well as acquiring a wildlife exemption. I’m meeting with a wildlife biologist next week to talk about our property as well as the neighboring 258 acres, which my relative owns. I was thinking that combining these two properties would give us about 350 acres under wildlife management. It’s not a ton, but we are interested in doing anything we can to help wildlife in our area. I figure it will not hurt the deer hunting either.

I know that it would be even better if we could get some additional neighboring landowners to co-op with us for wildlife management, but we will start with us. If we already have an ag exemption on our place can we still apply for the wildlife tax exemption as well? Can a landowner have only one of these exemptions a property or can you have both exemptions to get more of a tax break?”

Wildlife Tax Exemption in Texas

Wildlife Management Pro: Landowners in Texas are fortunate to have the option of obtaining wildlife tax valuation on their lands. The wildlife valuation, which most people refer to as the wildlife exemption, allows landowners to maintain ag taxes on their property without performing traditional farming or ranching practices. Neither of the tax valuations actually exempts you from tax, so it’s kind of a misnomer.

The ag tax valuation and the wildlife tax valuation are the same tax rate. These are much better than other tax rates because they are the lowest a landowner can possibly get. If you have an ag “exemption” on your property then you can apply and receive a wildlife “exemption”. You can only have one tax valuation rate.

To convert your land to the wildlife tax valuation you must develop a wildlife management plan that identifies the habitat management activities you will perform and for which wildlife species and then file the plan with the county tax appraisal district. Once filed, the landowner performs the wildlife management practices on an annual basis and the landowner continues to receive the ag tax valuation rate, but for managing wildlife habitat instead of farming/ranching.

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