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Welcome to the home page for Virginia's Use Value Assessment Program. The purpose of this site is to provide information to those interested in use value assessment in Virginia.

Virginia law allows eligible land in agricultural, horticultural, forest or open space to be taxed upon the land's value in use (use value) as opposed to the market value. The State Land Evaluation and Advisory Council (SLEAC) was created in 1973 with the mandate to estimate the use value of eligible land for each jurisdiction participating in the use-value taxation program. The SLEAC contracts annually with the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech to develop an objective methodology for estimating the use value of land in agricultural and horticultural uses, with the Virginia Department of Forestry for the use value of land in forestry, and with the Department of Conservation and Recreation for the use value of land in open space. A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), comprised of professionals familiar with Virginia agriculture, was established in 1998 to provided guidance on the technical aspects of developing an appropriate methodology for the estimation of use values for agricultural and horticultural uses. Section 58.1-3239 of Code of Virginia requires each participating jurisdictions' assessment office to consider the SLEAC estimates when assessing the use value of eligible land. However, the local assessing office is not required to use the estimates.

To view the state application click here, this document is for informational purposes only.  Please check with a local government agency to verify specific applications, eligibility, and reporting requirements. 

Click here vt logo to view a map and list of participating use-value jurisdictions.

What's New?

Estimates TY2014

Agricultural and Horticultural Estimates
        TY2014 Estimated Use Values of Agricultural Land
        TY2014 Estimated Use Values of Land in Orchard Use
        TY2014 Estimated  Rental Rate Values of Agricutural Land
Forestry Estimates
        TY2014 Estimated Use Values for Forest
Open Space Estimates
        TY2014 Estimated Use Values for Open Space

Manuals

VAAO Land Use Manual (August, 2013)

A user friendly manual from the Virginia Association of Assessing Officers (VAAO) offering Land Use Administrators descriptive explanations of the State Code of Virginia as it pertains to Land Use Law.

SLEAC Manual (May, 2013) (Last update: Attourney General's Opinion - September 20, 2013, Conservation Easement)

Provides beackground information needed by local officials involved in or considering a use-value assessment program.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Click here FAQs or on the FAQ button on the left and you will be directed to sixty questions with answers that pertain to Virginia's Use Value Taxation Program!

    If you have a question about the Use Value Assessment Program, please enter it into our question bank. To do so, click on this link: FAQs Bank . To recieve an answer to your question, please provide your email address.

Publications:

Tax Incentives for Open Space Preservation, Sandberg, Jeffrey O. (October, 2013)

Twenty-three states offer preferential property tax assessment of open space, to protect the environmental benefits and amenities of undeveloped land. This article compares policy differences from state to state and weighs their potential societal rewards and costs.

Agricultural Use-Value Property Tax Assesment: Estimation and Policy Issues. Anderson, John E. (2012)

This paper provides an overview of the theory and methods used to implement use-value property tax assessment for agricultural land in the United States. After a critical review of the methods used by various states in their application of use-value statutes for agricultural land, the paper examines several policy issues related to the estimation and application of use-value assessment methods. Five state case studies are included, providing an overview of methods used in use-value assessment, and suggestions are provided regarding several ways in which use-value assessment methods need to be improved.

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Dept of Agricultural and Applied Economics
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech. For problems or questions regarding this website contact Lex Bruce. Last updated October 23, 2013.