Presenter: Linda Campbell

Commission Agenda Item No. 9
Briefing
Property Tax Valuation Rules for Properties in Wildlife Management
November 2007

I. Executive Summary: Linda Campbell, Program Director for Private Lands and Public Hunting and Ann Bright, General Counsel, will brief the Commission on the Department's efforts to work with the Comptroller's office to clarify rules and guidelines associated with qualification of agricultural land in wildlife management use. See 34 Tex. Admin Code §9.4003, and Guidelines for Qualification of Agricultural Land in Wildlife Management Use (July 2002).

II. Discussion: In 1995, Texas voters approved Proposition 11, which amended Article VIII, Section 1-d-1 of the Texas Constitution to permit agricultural appraisal for land used to manage wildlife. In 1995, the Legislature passed H.B. 1358, implementing the constitutional change by amending the Texas Tax Code to allow wildlife management as an agricultural use that qualifies the land for agricultural appraisal. See Tex. Tax Code §23.51(7). Only land that has qualified for 1-d-1 agricultural appraisal is eligible to maintain agricultural appraisal through wildlife management use. See Tex. Tax Code §23.51(1).

In 2001, the Legislature passed H.B. 3123, amending the Texas Tax Code to require the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to develop and the Comptroller to adopt rules for the qualification of agricultural land in wildlife management use. See Tex. Tax Code §23.521(a). In 2002, the Department and the Comptroller worked collectively to adopt such rules and related guidelines which are set forth in 34 Tex. Admin Code §9.4003, and Guidelines for Qualification of Agricultural Land in Wildlife Management Use (July 2002).

Since these rules and guidelines were adopted in 2002, questions have arisen concerning their interpretation and implementation. Our purpose is to brief the Commission on the Department's efforts to clarify definitions, simplify language, and provide better consistency between the rules and guidelines.


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