Several of our Central Texas clients have contacted us recently concerned about the relative lack of rain so far this year. They are primarily worried that 2013 is shaping up to be as dry as 2008 and 2011. Landowners are weighing the economic impact of maintaining their herds over another dry summer or reducing the herd and transferring acreage for wildlife use.
If your land is currently being valued as agricultural land or timber land use under the 1-D-1 open space valuation, it may be time to consider having that acreage converted to wildlife use instead. Transferring your acreage over to wildlife use has 2 distinct advantages. First, ag use acreage can simply be reallocated to wildlife use allowing the landowner to maintain the benefits of the 1-D-1 tax exemption. Secondly, the costs associated with maintaining the wildlife valuation are substantially lower than the cost of maintaining livestock (of all types). Wildlife tax valuation is designed, virtually all of the costs associated with wildlife management tend to fixed, one-time annual expenditures that are not dependent on environmental or climatic variables. This results in the ability to keep both taxes and costs low, which is a perfect solution for most landowners and land developers alike.
While it is relatively easy to transfer acreage from ag use to wildlife use, the landowner should keep in mind that there are several requirements. First and foremost, the landowner will need to provide the county appraiser with an approved wildlife management plan before May 1st. Your management plan should outline the activities that you intend to conduct for both the current year and successive years. There are a number of activities that can be completed from 7 different categories. We typically recommend that our clients attempt to complete activities from each of the categories; however the state only requires that you complete 3. The 7 management categories are as follows:
1. Habitat Control
2. Erosion Control
3. Predator Control
4. Supplemental Water
5. Supplemental Food
6. Supplemental Shelter
With dozens of qualifiable activities in each category, it can be somewhat complicated to determine which activities are best suited for your property and most cost effective.
Your management plan will also need the accompanying PWD 885-W7000 management form from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). Additionally, some county appraisers will also ask for an annual report of the practices conducted on your property (PWD 888-W7000). One last additional requirement is that the county appraiser may occasionally visit your property in order to verify that you are making a “good faith” effort to comply with the practices outlined in your wildlife management plan; however the appraiser must notify you before an inspection.
Nearly all our clients, while understanding the importance of obtaining and benefits of maintaining the 1-D-1 tax valuation simply don’t have time to research, design and implement a management plan. Plan submittal along with annual reports and tax valuation forms can also be a time consuming commitment.
We want to help you manage your property! Give us a call at 512.827.9707 or send us an email and we will setup your FREE no risk 30 minute phone consultation.