Mason County News
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Lose My Ag Value?
CCA, RPA, RTA, Chief Appraiser
Wednesday, September 7, 2011 • Posted September 7, 2011

Apparently I’m not the only one who has noticed a serious lack of rainfall in the county, had to liquidate livestock or seriously curtail typical agricultural practices in an effort to survive. Judging by the number of questions I have received from producers about ag intensity requirements, people are concerned about losing their Special Valuation under 1-d-1 Agricultural Use Appraisal. As a prudent manager, if you choose to destock in an effort to conserve vegetation and/or water and not abuse our property in the face of this record drought, how could you expect to lose your special valuation? It’s not going to happen.Besides, there are agricultural practices that can only occur during dry times. Ever try to clean out a pond when it is full of water? Not a good idea. Vacant pastures might provide the opportunity to build fence or do brush control. Developing water supplies for the future may be in your plans. All these things can contribute to greater production when it does rain.Several taxpayers have asked about converting to Wildlife Management since they do not have any livestock at this time. I advise against taking this route for several reasons. Once you identify species of concern and adopt a plan to manage and sustain a breeding population, you may be committing to even greater potential expense when times like these occur. You will also be required to submit annual reports and file modifications to your plan as conditions change.As a practical matter most landowners realize income or derive personal pleasure from the wildlife that inhabits their property. Consequently, they are likely to take care, as best they can, of the wildlife whether they have a management plan or not. Since hunting, fishing, bird watching and other such activities are considered compatible with livestock production, the relevance of wildlife may be enhanced by these extraordinary times. A few years down the road, when things have returned to normal and pastures have healed substantially, you will be expected to resume responsible production practices. Market trends would lead one to think livestock prices will be much higher once restocking begins. At that time, you may think it costs too much to get back into production. This is when you need to be concerned about losing your ag value. If an economic incentive is all you need, one will be provided.Special Valuation under 1-d-1 provides you with a tremendous reduction in property value. Your management, conservation and production efforts are why you receive that value reduction. Please don’t abuse the public trust by allowing your land to become unproductive.

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