HB777: Land use taxation; localities to adopt value assessment & taxation on four classifications of land.

HOUSE BILL NO. 777
Offered January 13, 2010
Prefiled January 12, 2010
A BILL to amend and reenact § 58.1-3231 of the Code of Virginia, relating to land use taxation.
Patron-- Gilbert

Referred to Committee on Finance

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That § 58.1-3231 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 58.1-3231. Authority of counties, cities and towns to adopt ordinances; general reassessment following adoption of ordinance.

Any county, city or town which has adopted a land-use plan may adopt an ordinance to provide for the use value assessment and taxation, in accord with the provisions of this article, of real estate classified in § 58.1-3230. The local governing body pursuant to § 58.1-3237.1 may provide in the ordinance that property located in specified zoning districts shall not be eligible for special assessment as provided in this article. The provisions of this article shall not be applicable in any county, city or town for any year unless such an ordinance is adopted by the governing body thereof not later than June 30 of the year previous to the year when such taxes are first assessed and levied under this article, or December 31 of such year for localities which have adopted a fiscal year assessment date of July 1, under Chapter 30 (§ 58.1-3000 et seq.) of this subtitle. The provisions of this article also shall not apply to the assessment of any real estate assessable pursuant to law by a central state agency.

Land used in agricultural and forestal production within an agricultural district, a forestal district or an agricultural and forestal district that has been established under Chapter 43 (§ 15.2-4300 et seq.) of Title 15.2, shall be eligible for the use value assessment and taxation whether or not a local land-use plan or local ordinance pursuant to this section has been adopted.

Such ordinance shall provide for the assessment and taxation in accordance with the provisions of this article of any or all of the four classes of real estate set forth in § 58.1-3230. However, if a county, city or town has adopted land use taxation on three land use classifications, then the locality shall adopt use value assessment and taxation on all classifications in § 58.1-3230. If the uniform standards prescribed by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services pursuant to § 58.1-3230 require real estate to have been used for a particular purpose for a minimum length of time before qualifying as real estate devoted to agricultural use or horticultural use, then such ordinance may waive such prior use requirement for real estate devoted to the production of agricultural and horticultural crops that require more than two years from initial planting until commercially feasible harvesting.

In addition to but not to replace any other requirements of a land-use plan such ordinance may provide that the special assessment and taxation be established on a sliding scale which establishes a lower assessment for property held for longer periods of time within the classes of real estate set forth in § 58.1-3230. Any such sliding scale shall be set forth in the ordinance.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the governing body of any county, city or town shall be authorized to direct a general reassessment of real estate in the year following adoption of an ordinance pursuant to this article.