The majority of Texas’ state income is from property taxes and the small landowner carries much of the burden. If you own between 5 and 20 acres beekeeping may the answer you need for the property tax burden questions!
A few years ago the Legislature amended the Texas Tax Code, and the Texas Comptroller’s Office published new rules that encourage beekeeping, and authorize County appraisal districts in Texas to provide a reduction in property taxes via a special agricultural valuation for those whose property qualifies and who meet certain criteria specified by the Code, the Comptroller’s rules, and the various appraisal districts. Basically, the Code and the Comptroller’s rules now recognize beekeeping as an agricultural use that qualifies compliant property owners for a reduced property valuation, and a concomitant reduction in property taxes on property where bees are kept for agricultural purposes. The relevant provision of the Texas Tax Code is Section 23.51(2), which amended the definition of agricultural use to include “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 value, provided the land uses is not less than five or more than 20 acres.” A more detailed review of pertinent rules is contained in the Comptroller’s Manual for the Appraisal of Agricultural Land. See Texas Comptroller Beekeeping Agricultural Exemption.
If you would like to begin beekeeping, and will do so for agricultural purposes, with the required number of colonies, use intensity and also avoid certain uses of the relevant parcel that will result in disqualification for a special valuation or trigger a property tax rollback, then keeping honey bee colonies on your land allow you to reduce your property tax burden on the land where the bees are kept.
Each appraisal district has developed its own rules regarding what landowners must do and what evidence they must provide to obtain a special ag use valuation for keeping honey bees. Please check with your appraisal district for those practices and records that will be required of you.