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CAD offers drought considerations

By Wendy M. Grams, RPA, CCA Chief Appraiser

The Central Appraisal District of Bandera County has received many questions concerning agricultural use during this drought.
On June 24, 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture issued Secretarial Disaster Declaration S3122, which designated 213 Texas counties as primary natural disaster areas; which included Bandera County.
Since then, Governor Perry has re-issued a Disaster Proclamation for Exceptional Drought Conditions; most recently on Nov. 26, 2013, and unfortunately, Bandera County again is on the list.
This brings us to Senate Bill 771 which added Section 23.522 to the Texas Property Tax Code, which states the following:
"This section was changed to permit temporary cessation of agricultural use during drought. Qualified open-space land does not become ineligible for the special appraisal when a drought declared by the Governor has created the necessity to cease agricultural use for longer than the normal time and when the owner intends to return the land to agricultural use to the degree of intensity that is typical in the area when the drought ends."
Therefore, the Bandera County Central Appraisal District office wants you to know that you can take necessary actions to preserve your land and livestock during these drought conditions, with the understanding that once the drought diminishes and the Governor lifts the order, you will be required to return your land to agricultural use to the degree of intensity that is typical to this area. For this section of the code to apply to you, you must notify the appraisal district in writing of your decision to preserve land and livestock due to drought.
We are unable to predict when the drought will cease in our area so, if you feel this section of the Texas Property Tax Code may apply to your property, please contact our office at 1206 Main St, Bandera, TX or call 830-796-3039.
The Appraisal District will continue to ask for new and updated applications for 1-d-1 open space agricultural appraisal for all ownership changes and existing owners. The CAD will also continue to inspect agricultural lands and request agricultural expense and income survey information.
If you qualify for Wildlife Management the above regulations do not apply, so if you have a Wildlife Management designation for your property, please continue to meet your qualifications.
If you have any questions concerning agricultural use or wildlife management, please do not hesitate to call 830-796-3039, and we will try to assist you in any way possible."