Upshur County Tax Collector-Assessor Sherron Laminack released this explanation of the new law:
“A new state law requires farmers and ranchers to show their State Comptroller-issued Texas Agricultural or Timber Exemption Registration number before obtaining farm license plates and/or temporary excess weight permits,” she said.
“The new law will help ensure no one can infringe on the privileges extended to our qualified farmers and ranchers who deserve them.
“Unfortunately, as the state has grown, so have the number of reports of people abusing the farm plate and permit privileges,” Mrs. Laminack said.
She said the new law will weed out those taking advantage of the system that offers farmers and ranchers reduced vehicle registration and some sales tax-free exemptions.
“But to do that we will now have to ask farmers and ranchers to show us their Texas Agricultural or
Timer Exemption Registration number, which can be verified on the State Comptroller’s website,” she said.
“So take your Texas Agriculture or Timber Registration Card number to the County Tax Office when you are applying or renewing your farm plates or applying for a temporary excess weight permit for farm motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers.”
She said that vehicles that do not qualify for farm plates include regular passenger vehicles, those used for gainful employment (driving to or from work) or for hire, vehicles owned by farmer cooperatives, and ones used to transport livestock for non-retail purposes.
Types of farm plates include Truck, Truck Tractor, and Trailer/Semitrailer.
She said that these are the different types of farm plates and how you may use them:
• Farm truck/farm truck tractor plates. You can use these plates to transport your own poultry, dairy, livestock, livestock products, timber in its natural state, and farm products to market or to other points for sale or processing.
You can transport laborers from their place of residence to your farm or ranch. You can also move materials, tools, equipment and supplies from the place of purchase or storage to your farm or ranch, providing you do not charge tomove these items and they are exclusively for use on your farm or ranch.
The vehicle may also be used to allow you to participate in equine activities or attend livestock shows.
• Farm Trailer/Semitrailer plates. You can haul seasonal agricultural harvests or livestock from the place of production to the place of process or storage and transport farm equipment to your farm or ranch.
You can also transport fertilizer and haul cotton seed (as long as you aren’t charging) between the place of supply or storage to farms and ranches.
If you own a cotton gin, you may take it to other farms, providing you are not charging for the gin’s usage and it is being used by the farmers and ranchers. It can be used to haul agricultural products (harvests) to a process or storage location or to market.
You may also use trailer/semitrailers to participate in equine activities or attend livestock shows.
For more information, go to www.GetReadyTexas.org, or call the Comptroller at 800-252-5555.