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Tax Savings on Timber Valuation

What Land Qualifies?

Land devoted to the growing and harvesting of timber products may qualify for special valuation. Timberland must be used with the intent to produce income and be devoted principally to the production of timber to a degree of intensity that is common to the local level. The chief appraiser, with input from a local advisory board composed of agricultural and timber producers, determines the level or degree of intensity applicable to each type of timber use.

The land must have been devoted to timber production for at least five of the past seven years. However, land within the city limits must have been devoted continuously for the preceding five years, unless the land did not receive substantially equal city services as other properties in the city.

It’s important to know that if you just stop using the land for an agriculture purpose you may not be issued a rollback on your property. The only two reasons for a rollback to be issued on a piece of land is if the land is platted into a subdivision or something commercial is built on the land. REMEMBER, STOPPAGE OF USE IS NOT NECESSARILY A CHANGE OF USE.

If your land qualified for timber valuation and you change its use to a non-qualifying use (subdivision or commercial), you will owe a rollback tax for each of the previous three years in which your land received timber valuation. The rollback tax is the difference between the taxes you paid on your land’s timber valuation and the taxes you would have paid if your property had been taxed at its market value. Plus, 5-percent interest is charged for each year from the date that the taxes would have been due.

The chief appraiser determines if a change to a non-qualifying use has been made and sends a notice of the change. If you disagree, you may file the protest with the ARB. You must file the protest within 30 days of the date the notice was mailed to you. The ARB decides your case.

The owner who changes the use of the land gets the bill for the rollback tax.

For more information see Chapter 23 of the The Texas Property Tax Code.

Timber Guidelines

1-d-1 Timber Valuation Application



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