COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
Land Use Value Taxation Program
Update on Albemarle County’s Land Use Value Taxation Program and Discussion of Implementing an Annual Revalidation Process
Tucker, White, Davis, Herrick, Wiggans, Woodzell
LEGAL REVIEW: Yes
February 1, 2006
ACTION: X INFORMATION:
The purpose of this agenda item is two-fold: First, it provides the Board of Supervisors with a status report on the County’s Land Use Value Taxation Program including the statutory provisions for land use, the current status of land use in Albemarle County, the tax implications of land use, and the application, revalidation, and rollback processes. This report is for information only. The second purpose of the agenda item is to discuss staff’s recommendation for implementing an annual revalidation process in Albemarle County.
It is important to note that the purpose of this report is to discuss the current status of the program and the proposed revalidation process that would change how the program is administered. It is not the purpose of this report to discuss land use policy issues or to propose any changes to our land use policy. Land use policy issues are listed as part of the Rural Area implementation being managed by Community Development, although no date has been established at this time for the review of these policies.
2.2: Protect and/or preserve the County’s natural resources.
4.2: Fund County services in a fair, efficient manner and improve needed public facilities and infrastructure.
Land Use Value Taxation Program Report (Attachment A):
As noted above, this report provides the Board with an update of the County’s Land Use Value Taxation Program. Page 2 provides detailed numerical information on the Program. It notes that the County has 277,434 acres under land use, approximately 59% of the County’s total acreage. The annual tax reduction for the county is approximately $12.97 million, an amount that has been increasing in the past years due to rising real estate prices and declining State Land Evaluation and Advisory Council (SLEAC) values. Assuming FY 2005-06 real estate tax revenue at $1.2 million per penny, the additional cost of the program to ineligible properties is approximately 10.8 cents on the tax rate.
As noted in the report, Albemarle County currently does not have a revalidation process. The County’s current program of biennial reassessments allows the appraisal staff to visit each property in the County every two years. This provides a visual inspection to verify that the property meets the requirements of the Land Use Value Taxation Program.
However, as authorized by the Board of Supervisors on November 9, 2005, the County will change from biennial to annual reassessments beginning on January 1, 2007. This change will result in the appraisal staff visiting all properties every three to four years instead of every two years. Staff feels that the implementation of an annual revalidation process effective January 1, 2007, in conjunction with the change to annual assessments, will ensure that properties in the land use program continue to meet its requirements. The revalidation process, as noted in Attachment A, will require property owners in the land use program to annually submit documentation to the County that shows they continue to meet program
requirements. In addition, property owners in land use will be required to pay, every six years, a revalidation fee equal to the original land use application fee. The fee will be paid on six-year increments based on the date of the property’s original inclusion in the program.
Based on the current participants in the Land Use Value Taxation Program, adopting an annual revalidation process effective January 1, 2007 will result in a revenue increase of approximately $75,000 over a six-year period, less additional administrative costs (materials and postage). This equates to approximately a $10,000 increase in net revenue annually. No additional personnel will be requested to administer the revalidation process.
This report is brought to the Board for information purposes only. The implementation of the revalidation process, however, will require the Board to amend the County ordinance pertaining to the Land Use Value Taxation Program. If the Board agrees with the staff recommendation to implement the revalidation process, the public hearing and ordinance revision will be scheduled for the Board’s agenda in April, 2006.
A – Land Use Value Taxation Program Report
B – SLEAC Values (2005)
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