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H.B. 604

H.B. No. 604

AN ACT

relating to the appraisal for ad valorem tax purposes of certain
land used for wildlife management under a conservation easement.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Section 23.51, Tax Code, is amended by amending
Subdivisions (1) and (7) and adding Subdivision (8) to read as
follows:
(1) “Qualified open-space land” means land that is
currently devoted principally to agricultural use to the degree of
intensity generally accepted in the area and that has been devoted
principally to agricultural use or to production of timber or
forest products for five of the preceding seven years or land that
is used principally as an ecological laboratory by a public or
private college or university. Qualified open-space land includes
all appurtenances to the land. For the purposes of this
subdivision, appurtenances to the land means private roads, dams,
reservoirs, water wells, canals, ditches, terraces, and other
reshapings of the soil, fences, and riparian water rights.
Notwithstanding the other provisions of this subdivision, land that
is currently devoted principally to wildlife management as defined
by Subdivision (7)(B) or (C) to the degree of intensity generally
accepted in the area qualifies for appraisal as qualified
open-space land under this subchapter regardless of the manner in
which the land was used in any preceding year.
(7) “Wildlife management” means:
(A) actively using land that at the time the
wildlife-management use began was appraised as qualified
open-space land under this subchapter in at least three of the
following ways to propagate a sustaining breeding, migrating, or
wintering population of indigenous wild animals for human use,
including food, medicine, or recreation:
(i) [(A)] habitat control;
(ii) [(B)] erosion control;
(iii) [(C)] predator control;
(iv) [(D)] providing supplemental supplies
of water;
(v) [(E)] providing supplemental supplies
of food;
(vi) [(F)] providing shelters; and
(vii) [(G)] making of census counts to
determine population;
(B) actively using land to protect federally
listed endangered species under a federal permit if the land is:
(i) included in a habitat preserve and is
subject to a conservation easement created under Chapter 183,
Natural Resources Code; or
(ii) part of a conservation development
under a federally approved habitat conservation plan that restricts
the use of the land to protect federally listed endangered species;
or
(C) actively using land for a conservation or
restoration project to provide compensation for natural resource
damages pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response,
Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. Section 9601 et
seq.), the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. Section 2701 et
seq.), the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. Section
1251 et seq.), or Chapter 40, Natural Resources Code.
(8) “Endangered species,” “federal permit,” and
“habitat preserve” have the meanings assigned by Section 83.011,
Parks and Wildlife Code.
SECTION 2. Section 23.521(b), Tax Code, is amended to read
as follows:
(b) The standards adopted under Subsection (a) may require
that a tract of land be a specified minimum size to qualify under
Section 23.51(7)(A) [23.51(7)] for appraisal under this
subchapter, taking into consideration one or more of the following
factors:
(1) the activities listed in Section 23.51(7)(A)
[23.51(7)];
(2) the type of indigenous wild animal population the
land is being used to propagate;
(3) the region in this state in which the land is
located; and
(4) any other factor the Parks and Wildlife Department
determines is relevant.
SECTION 3. Section 23.225, Tax Code, is repealed.
SECTION 4. This Act applies only to the appraisal of land
for ad valorem tax purposes for a tax year that begins on or after
the effective date of this Act.
SECTION 5. This Act takes effect January 1, 2008.

______________________________ ______________________________
President of the Senate Speaker of the House

I certify that H.B. No. 604 was passed by the House on April
5, 2007, by the following vote: Yeas 137, Nays 0, 2 present, not
voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
No. 604 on May 21, 2007, by the following vote: Yeas 143, Nays 0, 2
present, not voting.

______________________________
Chief Clerk of the House

I certify that H.B. No. 604 was passed by the Senate, with
amendments, on May 17, 2007, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays
0.

______________________________
Secretary of the Senate
APPROVED: __________________
Date

__________________
Governor

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