Rural Rules: Land Use Assessment Program and Rollback Taxes

Did you know that there is a Land Use Assessment Program in Loudoun County that provides a deferral of real estate taxes when a property meets qualifying standards for agricultural, forestry, horticultural or open space uses? The program is administered by the Commissioner of the Revenue’s (COR) office located at the Loudoun County Government Center in Leesburg.

Real property owners who wish to apply for land use assessment for the first time must submit an application along with the required fee by the filing deadline. Applications are available online.

Owners of real property currently enrolled in the land use assessment program must renew their land use status every 6th year by submitting a renewal packet including documentation corroborating the qualifying land use along with the required fee by the filing deadline. Renewal packets are mailed the first week of September to those currently enrolled who are up for renewal.

An additional deferral of taxes is available to current program participants if they sign and record an agreement to keep the property in its qualifying use for more than 5 but not exceeding 20 years. The commitment must be filed with the COR office by November 1, 2018 and recorded in the Loudoun County Clerk of the Circuit Court´s office by December 31, 2018.

First-time Land Use applications and Renewal applications must be submitted by Thursday, November 1, 2018. Applications submitted after the deadline – November 1, 2018 through December 5, 2018, are subject to a $300 per parcel late filing fee along with the standard filing fee of $125 plus $1 per acre. No first-time applications or renewal applications will be accepted after the December 5th deadline.

It’s important to understand that changing to a non-qualifying use, rezoning to a more intense use (Title Sec. 58.1-3237) and the split off or subdivision of lots (Title Sec. 58.1-3241) may trigger rollback taxes. When rollback is issued, the taxes owed are based on the difference between land use value and fair market value for the current year, as well as the previous five tax years. Rollback taxes will equal the deferred tax, plus simple interest; currently at 10% per year.

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Questions? Please contact COR by calling 703-737-8557.