The General Assembly has passed legislation permitting localities that have adopted a comprehensive land use plan to provide, by ordinance and according to certain criteria for the special assessment and taxation of agricultural, horticultural, forest and open space lands at their use value rather than fair market value. The land use ordinance for Cumberland County was adopted effective January 1, 2000.
Land Use Categories
Land must be devoted to the bona fide production for sale of plants and animals useful to man under uniform standards prescribed by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Examples include tobacco, grain and livestock. Requires a 5-acre minimum. You must submit copies of Schedule F, (Farm Schedule of your income tax) for the past five years to establish a history of farming.
Land must be devoted to tree growth in such quantity and so spaced and maintained as to constitute a forest area under standards prescribed by the State Forester. It shall mean land including the standing timber and trees thereon. Requires a 20-acre minimum. A written statement from a qualified forester must accompany your application.
Land must be devoted to the bona fide production for sale of fruits, including grapes, nuts, berries, vegetables, nursery and floral products under uniform standards prescribed by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Requires a 5-acre minimum. You must submit copies of Schedule F, (Farm Schedule of your income tax) for the past 5 years to establish a history of farming.
Land must be used to preserve or provide for park or recreational purposes, conservation of land, floodways, historic or scenic purposes, or assisting in the shaping of the community character. Requires a five-acre minimum. A copy of the agreement with the Department of Conservation and Recreation must be in record in the Clerk's Office.
Failure to Report Change in Use; Mis-Statements in Applications
State Code Section 58.1-3238:
Any person failing to report properly any change in use of property for which an application for use value taxation had been filed shall be liable for all such taxes, in such amounts and at such times as if he had complied herewith and assessments had been properly made, and he shall be liable for such penalties and interest thereon as may be provided by ordinance. Any person making a material misstatement of fact in any such application shall be liable for all such taxes, in such amounts and at such times as if such property had been assessed on the basis of fair market value as applied to other real estate in the taxing jurisdiction, together with interest and penalties thereon. If such material misstatement was made with the intent to defraud the locality, he shall be further assessed with an additional penalty of 100% of such unpaid taxes.
For purposes of this Section and Section 58.1-3234, incorrect information on the following subjects will be considered material misstatements of fact:
- The number and identities of the known owners of the property at the time of application
- The actual use of the property
The intentional misrepresentation of the number of acres in the parcel or the number of acres to be taxed according to use shall also be considered a material misstatement of fact for the purposes of this Section and Section 58.1-3234.
Rollback taxes are assessed when the property no longer conforms to the Standards for Classification of the Land Use Program. The person who changes the use of the property is responsible for paying the rollback taxes. 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. Interest is applied to these taxes.
For application and instructions call the Commissioner of the Revenue at 804-492-4280.
- Filing Dates: September 1 to November 1 of each year.
- Cost: $40 per application. Make check payable to the Treasurer of Cumberland County.
A separate application is required for each parcel. Commissioner cautions each applicant to understand roll back taxes and interest before applying for land use.