Wildlife Tax Valuation Requirements

A property must be eligible for wildlife management use before it must meet the requirements of the wildlife tax valuation. To be eligible to convert the property must initially have a 1-d-1 agricultural tax valuation and not have been reduced in size during the previous tax year or qualify based on the minimum size requirement for the ecoregion in which the property is located. And to clarify, land on which the landowner engages in wildlife management and that meets other requirements for agricultural appraisal is qualified for agricultural appraisal and is technically still in agricultural use. There is no wildlife tax exemption in Texas, but rather a wildlife valuation is the same as an ag tax valuation.

This essentially means that agricultural land used for wildlife management is land in wildlife management use. The Texas Tax Code Section 23.51(1) defines qualified agricultural land as land that is currently and principally devoted to agricultural use to the degree of intensity typical for the area and has been used for agriculture or timber for at least five of the preceding seven years.

Required Management Practices for Landowners

Additionally, Texas Tax Code Section 23.51(2) Tax Code includes wildlife management in the definition of agricultural uses of land. Section 23.51(7) Tax Code defines wildlife management as:

Actively using land that at the time the wildlife management began was appraised as qualified open-space land under this subchapter in at least three of the following wildlife management practices to propagate a sustaining breeding, migrating, or wintering population of indigenous wild animals for human use, including food, medicine, or recreation:

  • Habitat control
  • Erosion control
  • Predator control
  • Providing supplemental supplies of water
  • Providing supplemental supplies of food
  • Providing shelter
  • Making census counts to determine population