Sec. 18-51.1. Special assessments for agricultural, horticultural, forest or open space real estate.
(a) The city finds that the preservation of real estate devoted to agricultural, horticultural, forest and open space uses within its boundaries is in the public interest and, having heretofore adopted a land-use plan, hereby ordains that such real estate shall be taxed in accordance with the provisions of Article 4 of Chapter 32 of Title 58.1 of the Code of Virginia (1950), as amended, and of this section.
(b)(1) The owner of any real estate meeting the criteria set forth in Sections 58.1-3230 and 58.1-3233 of the Code of Virginia shall, on or before May 1 of each year, apply to the city assessor for the classification, assessment and taxation of such property for the next succeeding tax year on the basis of its use, under the procedures set forth in Section 58.1-3236 of the Code of Virginia. In any year in which a general reassessment is being made such application may be submitted until thirty (30) days have elapsed after the notice of increase in assessment is mailed or sixty (60) days preceding the tax year, whichever is later. Such application shall be on forms provided by the state department of taxation and supplied by the city assessor and shall include such additional schedules, photographs and drawings as may be required by the city assessor. An individual who is the owner of an undivided interest in a parcel may apply on behalf of himself and the other owners of such parcel upon submitting an affidavit that such other owners are minors or cannot be located. An application shall be submitted whenever the use or acreage of such land previously approved changes; provided, however, that such property owner must revalidate annually with the city assessor any applications previously approved. A fee of forty dollars ($40.00) shall accompany each initial application for the classification, assessment and taxation of property in accordance with the provisions of this section and a fee of fifteen dollars ($15.00) shall accompany each annual revalidation application.
(2) A separate application shall be filed for each parcel on the land book.
(c) Promptly upon receipt of any application, the city assessor shall determine whether the subject property meets the criteria for taxation hereunder. If the city assessor determines that the subject property does meet such criteria, he shall determine the value of such property for its qualifying use, as well as its fair market value.
In determining whether the subject property meets the criteria for "agricultural use" or "horticultural use" the city assessor may request an opinion from the commissioner of agriculture and commerce; in determining whether the subject property meets the criteria for "forest use" he may request an opinion from the director of the department of conservation and economic development; and in determining whether the subject property meets the criteria for "open space use" he may request an opinion from the director of the commission of outdoor recreation. Upon the refusal of the commissioner of agriculture and commerce, the director of the department of conservation and economic development or the director of the commission of outdoor recreation to issue an opinion, or in the event of an unfavorable opinion which does not comport with standards set forth by the respective director, the party aggrieved may seek relief from the circuit court for the city. If said court finds in his favor it may issue an order which shall serve in lieu of an opinion for the purposes of this section.
(d) The use value and fair market value of any qualifying property shall be placed on the land book before delivery to the city collector and the tax for the next succeeding tax year shall be extended from the use value.
(e) There is hereby imposed a roll-back tax, and interest thereon, in such amounts as may be determined under Virginia Code section 58.1-3237, upon any property as to which the use changes to a non-qualifying use.
(f)(1) The owner of any real estate liable for roll-back taxes shall, within sixty (60) days following a change in use, report such change to the city assessor on such forms as may be prescribed. The city assessor shall forthwith determine and assess the roll-back tax, which shall be paid to the city collector within thirty (30) days of assessment. On failure to report within sixty (60) days following such change in use and/or failure to pay within thirty (30) days of assessment of said roll-back tax and interest such owner shall be liable for an additional penalty equal to ten (10) per cent of the amount of the roll-back tax and interest, which penalty shall be collected as a part of the tax. In addition to such penalty, there is hereby imposed interest of one-half per cent of the amount of the roll-back tax, interest and penalty, for each month or fraction thereof during which the failure continues.
(2) Any person making a material misstatement of fact in any application filed pursuant thereto shall be liable for all 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 city, together with interest and penalties thereon, and he shall be further assessed with an additional penalty of one hundred per centum of such unpaid taxes.
(g) The provisions of Title 58.1 of the Code of Virginia (1950) as amended, applicable to local levies and real estate assessment and taxation shall be applicable to assessments and taxation hereunder mutatis mutandis including, without limitation, provisions relating to tax liens and the correction of erroneous assessments, and for such purposes the roll-back taxes shall be considered to be deferred real estate taxes. (Code 1959, § 12-38.1; Ord. of 5-24-77; eff. 1-1-78; Ord. No. O-84-141, § 1, 6-12-84, eff. 7-1-84; Ord. No. O-01-132, 7-10-01, eff. 7-1-01)
Last updated date: 10/23/2006 4:15:21 PM