Land Use Program
The Commissioner of Revenue Office administers the Land Use Program adopted by the Board of Supervisors. This program is designed to benefit taxpayers who keep their land in active production by assessing at a land use value instead of the fair market value. This results in a lower tax. Land may be placed in the program between September 1 and November 2 to qualify for the upcoming year.
To qualify the following criteria must be met:
- Land must have been in production for at least 5 consecutive years
- Land cannot be in an approved subdivision recorded after July 1, 1983
- Minimum acreage requirement for crop and pasture land is 5 acres
- Minimum acreage for forest land is 20 acres
- Minimum acreage for horticulture is 5 acres
- Minimum acreage for open space is 5 acres
- Application must be approved by Board of Supervisors for open space
To apply, you must meet the above criteria and bring in the following to complete an application:
- An aerial photograph of your farm (which can be acquired at the Farm Service Agency Office in Chatham, Virginia)
- Income documentation of a minimum of $1,000 per year must be submitted for the past 3 consecutive years.
- An application fee of $10 and $0.10 per acre must be paid at the time the application is filed.
Notice of Change
By law, the landowner must notify the Commissioner of the Revenue Office of any change in the size or use of any tract of land in the Land Use Program within 60 days of the change.
Whenever the use of the property changes to a non-qualifying use, the property is subject to a roll-back tax and interest in such amounts as may be determined under Virginia code 58.1-3237
2018 Land Use Values
Land use values may be reviewed following a general reassessment. The Commissioner of the Revenue sets the land use values within the state code guideline of the "use" value of land in production. The rates set for 2018 are as follows:
- Cropland - 500 acre
- Forest - 500 acre
- Horticulture - 500 acre
- Open Space - 1,200 acre
- Pasture - 500 acre
Taxpayers qualifying for the land use program pay tax based upon the "use value" instead of the fair market value.
Beginning in 2010 all taxpayers enrolled in the Land Use Program are required to submit an annual revalidation form confirming continued use of the land as specified in the original application or making any changes that have occurred with the land regarding to the use, size or ownership. Income verification of at least $1,000 from crop production for the year prior the revalidation notice must be submitted to keep the property in the program. Forest land management must be validated with a forest management plan or date of last cut and anticipated next cut date.
Failure to return the required revalidation form and required income / use documentation by December 20 will cause the parcel to be removed from the program for the current year and a new application will have to be submitted and fees assessed to re-enroll the parcel for the following tax year. Payment of a late filing fee of $100.00 per parcel by December 31st would allow the parcel to remain in the program for the following tax year.
Any questions concerning the Land Use Program should be directed to 434-432-7949