Texas Farm Bureau testifies on ag use valuation
Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) told the Texas House Committee on Agriculture and Livestock that the current valuation system is working well, but it could possibly support changes to the rollback provision. The committee is studying the appraisal of agricultural land for taxation, including the change-of-use rollback provision.
TFB Vice President Michael White of Vernon testified that the organization supports a legislative review of Section 23.55 of the Texas Tax Code, regarding rollback taxes, to define the intent of the law and evaluate potential impacts to agriculture.
"We welcome your findings and would not oppose a reduction in the rollback period if it does not negatively affect agriculture or this special method of tax valuation," White said. "One provision we oppose in the current law is the payment of interest on each year the rollback is collected. We believe payment of the five years in rollback taxes is sufficient without adding interest as an extra expense."
Losing ag use valuation, White noted, would have severe consequences for Texas agriculture.
“Farming and ranching is a risky and difficult business in many aspects,” White said. “Current prices for cotton, corn, grain sorghum and cattle—along with the economic forecasts for the next five to 10 years—are just a few indications of the challenges facing farmers, ranchers and agricultural landowners. Loss of ag use valuation would greatly add to their burden.”
White reiterated that TFB asks all considerations be given to maintain ag use valuation for taxation of farm and ranch property. The hearing of the House Committee on Agriculture and Livestock was conducted as part of its interim legislative charges. The committee is examining the impact of the current appraisal system of agricultural land for taxation on rural economic development.