Agricultural Exemption -
with Honey Bees
|Do you own 5 to 20 acres? Are you interested
in saving hundreds, maybe even thousands on your property taxes each year?
If so, having honey bees can help you qualify. We sell bees hives with an
established colony (seasonally), but for those that may not want to get into
beekeeping, we also lease our hives to land owners for a reasonable fee. We do everything to
manage and maintain the bees, and you reap the rewards of the tax breaks.
Lease our Honey Bee hives to qualify for an Ag Exemption and leave the
Beekeeping to us!
Texas law, effective January 1, 2012, made it possible for
beekeeping to qualify for an Agricultural Valuation (commonly called "ag exemption"
- see below) on property taxes. This is
covered in the Tax Code under Chapter 23, Subchapter D, Sect. 23.51 (1) and (2).
An Agriculture Exemption is not actually an Exemption but rather a Special
Valuation. If a portion or all of a property is deemed eligible to receive an
Agricultural Valuation, that property will receive a Production Value along with
its Market Value. The tax savings that a property receives depends on the
current Market Value of the property and what type of Ag Valuation you are
requesting. Native Pasture areas can have a lower Ag valuation than Dry Crop
areas and generally both are lower than the market value that the taxes would
normally be based on.
There are several key phrases and requirements to this law. Sect. 23.51 (1)
covers the definition of "qualified open-space land". Specifics state land that
has an established agricultural use history for five of the preceding seven
years. Record keeping is critical. Registration and permitting with Texas Apiary
Inspection Service (TAIS) helps establish this history. Wording of the law
states agricultural use to the degree of intensity generally accepted in the
area. Each local appraisal district sets their own standards as the accepted
degree of intensity. Most appraisal districts use a minimum of six colonies
(beehives) as a standard. That is the accepted definition of an apiary from
Texas bee law under the Agriculture Code, Title 6, subtitle A, Chapter 131,
Sect. 131.001 (2).
Size of qualifying acreage is not less than 5 or more than 20 acres. Remember
the definition of agriculture use. Losing an acre to a homestead exemption has
to be accounted for on acreage.
Also, realize the landowner does not have to own the bees. You may lease the
bees from a beekeeper. Again, keep accurate and complete records. The wording
of the law states "the use of land to raise or keep bees for pollination or for
the production of human food or other tangible products having a commercial
Lastly, it is important to stress the fact that each local appraisal district
can set their own standards and requirements for the beekeeping exemption.
Please contact your local appraisal district for guidance and minimum
We are based just south of San Antonio, Texas. However, we cover
a large portion of central and south Texas. Contact us to reserve bees for your
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