TITLE 34. PUBLIC FINANCE

PART 1. COMPTROLLER OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS

CHAPTER 9. PROPERTY TAX ADMINISTRATION

SUBCHAPTER I. VALUATION PROCEDURES

34 TAC §9.4001

The Comptroller of Public Accounts proposes amendments to §9.4001, concerning valuation of open-space and agricultural lands. These amendments are to reflect updates and revisions to the manual for the appraisal of agricultural land.

The amendments update and revise the manual for the appraisal of agricultural land that has been in effect since 1990. The manual sets forth the methods to apply and the procedures to use in qualifying and appraising land used for agriculture and open-space land under Tax Code, Chapter 23, Subchapters C and D. The updates and revisions to the manual generally reflect statutory changes; changes dictated by case law; changes to examples to reference more current prices, expenses, and values; changes to organization names and information available from different sources; the addition of footnotes for citations to Tax Code sections and case law referenced; and the removal of verbatim Tax Code sections. The proposed amendments also provide that appraisal districts are required to use this manual in qualifying and appraising open-space land. Pursuant to Tax Code, §23.52(d), a majority of the committee composed of the governor, the comptroller, the attorney general, the agriculture commissioner, and the Commissioner of the General Land Office, or their designees, has approved of the updated and revised manual for the appraisal of agricultural land.

Tom Currah, Chief Revenue Estimator, has determined that for the first five-year period the rule will be in effect, there will be no significant revenue impact on the state or units of local government.

Mr. Currah also has determined that for each year of the first five years the rule is in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the rule will be by improving the administration of local property valuation and taxation. The proposed amendment would have no fiscal impact on small businesses. There is no significant anticipated economic cost to individuals who are required to comply with the proposed rule.

Comments on the proposed rule may be submitted to Mike Esparza, Director, Property Tax Assistance Division, P.O. Box 13528 Austin, Texas 78711. Comments must be received no later than 30 days from the date of publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

These amendments are proposed under Tax Code, §§5.05 (Appraisal Manuals and Other Materials); 23.41 (Appraisal); and 23.52 (Appraisal of Qualified Agricultural Land), which provide the comptroller with the authority to prepare and issue publications relating to the appraisal of property and to promulgate rules specifying the methods to apply and the procedures to use in appraising qualified agricultural and open-space land for ad valorem tax purposes.

These amendments implement Tax Code, §23.41 (Appraisal) and §23.52 (Appraisal of Qualified Agricultural Land).

§9.4001.Valuation of Open-Space and Agricultural Lands.

Adoption of the "Manual for the Appraisal of Agricultural Land." This manual specifies the methods to apply and the procedures to use in qualifying and appraising land used for agriculture and open-space land under Tax Code, Chapter 23, Subchapters C and D. Appraisal districts are required to use this manual in qualifying and appraising open-space land. The Comptroller of Public Accounts adopts by reference the Manual for the Appraisal of Agricultural Land dated January 2017. The manual is accessible on the Property Tax Assistance Division website. Copies of the manual can be obtained from the Comptroller of Public Accounts, Property Tax Assistance Division, P.O. Box 13528, Austin, Texas 78711-3528. Copies also may be requested by calling our toll-free number 1-800-252-9121. In Austin, call (512) 305-9999. [The State Property Tax Board adopts by reference the Manual for the Appraisal of Agricultural Land, as amended December 13, 1989, the amendments to be effective on January 13, 1990. This document is published by and available from the State Property Tax Board, 4301 Westbank Drive, Austin, Texas 78746-6565.]

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on March 20, 2017.

TRD-201701177

Lita Gonzalez

General Counsel

Comptroller of Public Accounts

Earliest possible date of adoption: April 30, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 475-0387