Special Assessment Program

  1. Land Use
  2. Application
  3. Revalidation
  4. Rollback Taxes

Title 58.1, Chapter 32, Article 4, of the Code of Virginia provides for the assessment of land based on use value rather than market value. This program is designed to promote the preservation of land for public benefit.

The State Land Evaluation Advisory Council establishes the requirements for qualification and use values. There are four classifications under which real estate may qualify for a use value assessment:

Agriculture Use

The qualifying land area must be a minimum of five acres and must be devoted currently and for the five previous consecutive years to the production for sale of plant or animal products useful to the public. Crop and/or livestock production must be primarily for commercial use. Documentation supporting the agriculture operation must be submitted each year.

Horticulture Use

The qualifying land area must be a minimum of five acres and must be devoted currently and for the five previous consecutive years to the production for sale of nursery, cut flowers, orchards, vineyards, or small fruit products. Documentation supporting the horticulture operation, such as a federal income tax return or receipt verifying gross sales, must be submitted each year.

Forest Use

The qualifying land area must be a minimum of 20 acres. The land must be growing a commercial forest crop that is physically accessible for harvesting when mature. The owner must certify that the real estate is being used in a planned program of timber management and soil conservation practices. A Planned Program of Timber Management prepared by a professional forester must be submitted to show certification of intent by the owner. This is a list of foresters.

Open Space Use

Specific standards include providing or preserving for parks or recreational purposes, conservation of land or other natural resources, floodways, historic or scenic areas, and assisting in the shaping of the character, direction, and timing of community development or for the public interest. The owner of real estate qualifying under open space must do one of the following:

  • Record an Open Space Agreement, which is a binding accord between the landowner and Chesterfield County as prescribed under State Code 58.1-3233. The qualifying land area must be a minimum of 20 acres and conform to the local land use plan or be on the Visual Resource List.
  • Record a Perpetual Easement in which no minimum acreage amount is required.