Land Use

Properties that qualify for Land Use under the category of Agricultural/Horticulture or Forest must apply to the Office of the Commissioner of Revenue by November 1st annually. To qualify for agricultural/horticulture use you must have a minimum of 5 acres open (excluding a 1 acre home-site). To qualify for forest use you must have a minimum of 20 acres in timberland (excluding a 1 acre home-site). There is a $10 application fee. Re-validation forms are to be filed biannually for property to remain under the land use valuation.

Program Purpose


The Land Use Program is for Agriculture, Horticulture, Forest Use and Open Space parcels. The purpose of the Land Use Program is to further the public interest by encouraging the preservation of land, to conserve and protect the County's natural resources, to protect safe water supplies, and to promote orderly land use planning and development.

The Land Use Program is a tax deferral, not a discount. The assessment of the land is based on the use value and not the fair market value. The tax deferral amount will be repaid with interest if the use of the land changes. Properties that qualify under these categories must apply to the Commissioner of Revenue office by November 1.

Properties may be eligible for special valuation and assessment when it meets the following criteria:

Agriculture Use


The qualifying land area shall be:
  • A minimum of 5 acres (excluding a 1 acre home-site, which will be taxed at fair market value.)
  • Devoted to the bona fide production for sale of plants and animals useful to man under uniform standard prescribed by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Horticulture Use


The qualifying land area shall be:
  • A minimum of 5 acres (excluding a 1 acre home-site, which will be taxed at fair market value.)
  • Devoted to the bona fide production for sale of fruits of all kinds, including grapes, nuts and berries; vegetables; nursery and floral products under uniform standards prescribed by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Forest Use


The qualifying land area shall be:
  • A minimum of 20 acres (excluding a 1 acre home-site which will be taxed at fair market value).
  • Devoted to tree growth in such quantity and so spaced and maintained as to constitute a forest area under standard prescribed by the State Forester.

Open Space Use


  • Qualifying land to be preserved for park or recreational purposes, conservation of land or other natural resources, flood ways, historic or scenic purposes, or assisting in the shaping of the character, direction, and timing of community development or for the public interest and consistent with the local land-use plan under uniform standards prescribed by the Director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
  • The qualifying land area shall be a minimum of 5 acres in Open Space use unless the local ordinance specifies otherwise.

Applications


To participate in the Land Use Program, the landowner must:
  • A new application is required whenever the use or acreage of previously approved land changes with an application fee.
  • If real estate taxes become delinquent while the real estate has Land Use assessment, the real estate will be removed from the Land Use Program.
  • Submit an application to the Commissioner of the Revenue office by November 1 for Land Use taxation for the following year and during the Reassessment period, property owners will have 30 days from receiving their reassessment notices to file a Land Use application for that current year to place real estate in Land Use along with a $10 fee.
  • No application will be accepted or approved if there are delinquent taxes on the property.

Application Fees


  • All fees are non-refundable.
  • There is a $10 application fee for each application submitted by November 1.

Biannual Revalidation Forms


  • A late filing fee of $10 is due on any revalidation form filed between November 3 and December 7.
  • Revalidation of an approved application must be filed biannually to continue real estate in the Land Use Program for the following year. (Revalidation Forms will be mailed from Commissioner of Revenue office)
  • There is no charge to revalidate if filed on or before November 2.

Rollback Taxes


  • Any change in use must be reported to the Louisa County Commissioner of Revenue's Office within 60 days of the date of change to avoid having a penalty applied to the rollback tax. If property owner no longer desires to have parcel in Land Use, a letter must be submitted to the Commissioner of Revenue office and no Roll Back tax will be applied.
  • Rollback taxes are assessed for the current year plus five preceding years in which the real estate was taxed under the land use ordinance. The Rollback taxes are based on the difference between the market value and use value.
  • Rollback taxes are assessed when the property no longer conforms to the Standard for Classification of the Land Use Program.

Examples of Change


  • Ceases to be in production
  • Rezoning
  • Selling land leaving an insufficient amount of acreage to qualify
Filing dates are subject to change based on calendar dates for that year.
If you have any additional questions regarding Land Use please call the Commissioner of Revenue Office at 540-967-3432.