You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Beehives on rural acreage could lower taxes
A closeup of busy honeybees at work with their hives
Special to the Wilson County NewsDecember 26, 2012 3,538 views Post a comment
By Robert Fromme
Bees are responsible for pollinating many species of plants and crops within the state, and many Texas crops would be at risk without the bees. Honey has been designated as an agricultural product in Texas.
In May 2011, state representatives George Lavender and James White sponsored a bill regarding honeybees used for agricultural use tax appraisal.
The special agricultural valuation for honeybees applies to land parcels ranging from 5 to 20 acres. If the property owner has a home on the parcel, 1 acre is usually taxed as residential land and that acre cannot be included in the special agricultural valuation. In other words, with a residence on the land, a total of 6 acres would be needed to gain the agricultural valuation minimum of 5 acres. The property must previously have an agricultural exemption or one must have the hives on the property for at least five of the past seven years before the special valuation can take effect. In turn, if the property is sold and the agricultural valuation is not continued, the current owner will be responsible for five years of tax rollbacks, which will take effect with the loss of the agricultural classification on the land. If the parcel of land is barren or requires additional attention in order to support the hives, blossoming plants or trees must be introduced on the land in order to ensure thriving colonies at the location.
There must be at least three active “main frame” beehives to qualify and there is a limit or total of 10 hives for 20 acres. In other words, the hive must include an active, living hive of honeybees, a bottom board, at least one-eighth or one-10th frame brood box, and a cover. A smaller three- to five-frame “nuke” or nucleus hive will not qualify as an acceptable hive in the count.
The beehives must be located on the property; however, they do not need to be owned or managed by the landowner. The property owner may choose to arrange for the hives to be placed and managed by another beekeeper as long as the beehives remain active and are kept on the property.
The actual amount of tax reduction after qualifying for the honeybee agricultural valuation will vary due to an extensive range of appraisal categories for agricultural valuation. Agricultural land is appraised per acre based upon location and its productive potential. In other words, cropland, native open range, introduced grasses on open ranchland, timber, and varied or rough terrain can all impact the final agricultural valuation of the land for tax purposes. At any rate, if a rural family is currently paying taxes on 5 to 20, non-residential acres without an agricultural valuation on the land, they should expect to see a substantial reduction in their taxes after qualifying for the honeybee special agricultural valuation.
Rural landowners who qualify should contact the appraisal district and actually file an application form in order to receive the special agricultural application. For more information, call the Wilson County Appraisal District at 830-393-3065.
Richard Fromme, a retired school teacher, resides in the Fairview community and raises bees on land off C.R. 120, near the Labatt Road Bridge.
Bob and Eva Fromme, retired public school teachers, have enjoyed managing a few honeybee hives since the 1980s. The couple own a few acres to run cattle and attend to beehives near the Labatt Road Bridge in the county.
In 2011, according to http://tx.open government.org, Texas House Bill 2049 relates “to the eligibility of certain land used to raise or keep bees for appraisal for ad valorem tax purposes as qualified open-space land.” The law took effect Jan. 1, 2012.
To assist others about the specific requirements for a honeybee agricultural valuation in Wilson County, the couple contacted Brian Stahl, chief appraiser of the Wilson County Appraisal Office, for more information. The following information and photos were shared by Stahl.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Agriculture Today Archives
Beef Cattle Management seminar (August 26, 2015)
Cotton root rot and its symptoms (August 26, 2015)
Feral hogs, water workshop (August 26, 2015)
Get acquainted with 4-H event (August 26, 2015)
Harvey places in top 20 (August 26, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (August 26, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (August 26, 2015)
Mobile app for hunting regs (August 26, 2015)
Registration for cattle conference (August 26, 2015)
Survey deadline (August 26, 2015)
Turkey fed to improve Texas grasslands (August 26, 2015)
Wilson County 4-H Council, Booster meetings, Sept. 2 (August 26, 2015)
Anthrax confirmed in equine in Uvalde County (August 19, 2015)
Deer association: Environmental group deceives deer industry, wildlife community (August 19, 2015)
Don’t miss your shot! Apply for drawn hunts (August 19, 2015)
Feral hog management workshop is Sept. 4 (August 19, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (August 19, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (August 19, 2015)
Prospects bright for dove season (August 19, 2015)
Saving tomatoes from the Texas heat (August 19, 2015)
Siblings make rodeo memories (August 19, 2015)
TDA Market Report (August 19, 2015)
Chagas disease in South Central Texas (August 12, 2015)
Eastern equine encephalitis cases reported in Texas (August 12, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (August 12, 2015)
Leaf-dropping is common (August 12, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (August 12, 2015)
New, stronger El Niño may bring another wet winter (August 12, 2015)
Pieniazek elected president of ag education leadership (August 12, 2015)
EPA ‘muddies’ Clean Water Act (August 5, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (August 5, 2015)
It’s a ‘banner’ summer for Payton! (August 5, 2015)
Lantanas losing luster; mosquitoes a bother (August 5, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (August 5, 2015)
Meuths receive Bronze Merit Award (August 5, 2015)
Shoot to benefit Don Newbury (August 5, 2015)
TDA Market Report (August 5, 2015)
August 2015 Gardening Calendar (August 1, 2015)