February 2022 TBS Monthly - Page 30

Gimme a Br eak - A Tax Br eak , that is !

1-D-1 Open Space law offers incentives for landowners and opportunity for beekeepers

B en Franklin famously said that nothing is more certain in life than ? death and taxes ,? but a 2012 Texas law gives landowners a potential reprieve ( from the tax part at least !).

The 1-D-1 Open Space constitutional change paved the way for folks with smaller parcels of rural land ? between five and 20 acres ? to qualify for agricultural tax valuation by doing farm , ranch , or wildlife management work . And qualifying for Ag valuation typically spells a much lower tax rate . Take that , Ben Franklin !
Beekeeping falls under livestock management , and the law has been a boon to bees and beekeepers alike .
While there was some discussion in the most recent Texas legislative session about standardizing Ag valuation rules statewide , as of now guidelines are unique to each of the 254 counties in Texas ? unique , because what works in the piney woods of the east won ? t necessarily work in the vast , open expanses of West Texas and vice versa , according to Scott Untied ( pronounced ? un-teed ?).
Untied and his wife Sue Ann own and manage Texas Rural Property Tax Consultants based in Kingsland and help landowners across the state with the sometimes-complicated details of Ag and wildlife management .
? As big and diverse as Texas is , it would be really hard to standardize every county ,? Untied said . ? But most of the counties have adopted what I ? ll call the Harris County standard .?
Because Harris County was the first to apply standards to beekeeping for Ag valuation , many have followed suit calling for a minimum of six hives for the first five acres and an additional hive for every 2.5 acres up to 20 acres ( totaling 12 hives for 20 acres ).
Some counties require fewer hives because of drier conditions , while a few counties ( DeWitt , San Saba , Austin , and