Land Use Program


About


  • The Virginia State Code provides for the assessment of land based on use value rather than market value. The Rockbridge County Ordinance further defines the administration of the Land Use Program.
  • It is the intent of this article to promote the preservation of land for the public benefit.
  • There are four classifications under which real estate may qualify for a use value assessment:  Agriculture, Horticulture, Forest and Open Space.

ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY LAND USE PROGRAM QUALIFICATIONS

Agricultural/Horticultural

New Applications
1. Minimum of 5 acres required
2. Copy of Schedule F, C, E or Form 4835 from Federal Tax Return for last 5 years or receipts showing income of $1000 or more
3. Affidavit showing production for past 5 years
4. Signatures of all owners must be on application
5. Application must be filed by November 1st to qualify for the following year
6. Application fee of $10.00 must be paid

Re-Validation
1. Required annually, must provide Schedule F, C, E or Form 4835 of receipts showing income of $1000 or more
2. Signatures of all owners required
3. Re-validation form will be mailed to the owner each fall
4. Must be filed by November 1st each year

Forestry

New Applications
1. Minimum 20 acres required
2. Forestry plan from a certified forester or a signed agreement provided by the Commissioner’s office
3. Signatures of all owners must be on application and agreement form
4. Application must be filed by November 1st to qualify for the following year
5. Application fee of $10.00 must be paid

Re-Validation
1. Required annually
2. Signatures of all owners required
3. Re-validation form will be mailed to the owner each fall
4. Must be filed by November 1st each year

Reduced Assessments
As allowed under the Code of Virginia, Rockbridge County has adopted an ordinance to allow taxpayers to apply for specially reduced assessments on certain real estate, depending on its use. Following very closely on the calculations of the State Land Evaluation Advisory Council (SLEAC), reductions of assessment are given on each qualifying parcel.

Such reduction encourages the continuation of farms, orchards, and forests in a time when development is driving the value of land up in a greater ratio than the return on products generated from such land.

In compliance with § 58.1.3233 Code of Virginia, the land use rates for 2014 are listed below. 

The 2013 Land Use Value Rates are as follows: 
  • Agriculture / Crop : $ 800 per acre 
  • Agriculture / Pasture: $ 600 per acre 
  • Forestry: $ 500 per acre
  • Open Space: $1,200 per acre


Applications
To participate in the Land Use Program, the landowner must:

  •  Submit an application to the Commissioner of the Revenue.
  •  A new application is required whenever the use or acreage of previously approved land changes.
  •  No application will be accepted or approved if there are delinquent taxes on the property.
  •  If real estate taxes become delinquent while the real estate has a special assessment, the real estate will be removed from the Land Use Program.
  •  There is a $10 application fee for each application submitted by November 1st.
  •  Applications submitted by the November 1st deadline are effective for the following tax year.

Rockbridge County Land Use Application


Rollback Taxes

  • Real estate that no longer qualifies for the Land Use Program is subject to a rollback tax.
  • The rollback tax is calculated on the difference between the tax levied, based on a use-value assessment, and the tax that would have been levied, based on a fair market-value assessment.
  • The rollback tax shall be equal to the sum of the deferred tax for the current, and for each of the five most recent tax years, plus interest.
  • Any change in use must be reported to the Rockbridge County Commissioner of Revenue’s Office within 60 days of the date of change to avoid having a penalty applied to the rollback tax.

Examples of change in use include:

  •  Rezoning
  •  Selling land leaving an insufficient amount of acreage to qualify
  •  Ceases to be in production