Calls Needed to Oppose Bill Mandating Land Use Value Taxation for Certain Properties

February 5, 2018

HB 1204 (Hugo) is a problematic bill that would require certain property be assessed based on use value in certain localities meeting specified population growth critieria.  The bill would require that real property of at least five acres that is devoted to open space be assessed based on the property’s land use value.

VACo opposes this legislation and spoke against the bill in subcommittee.  Although the legislation applies to a limited number of localities now, it sets a worrisome future precedent by requiring a locality to assess property as if it were part of a local program of use value taxation, regardless of whether the locality has adopted use value taxation.  Adopting use value taxation is a local option under current Code.  This bill would supersede that local authority and direct that certain property be afforded preferential tax treatment.

HB 1204 was prompted by a dispute between two property owners and one locality.  The General Assembly has enacted a process for property owners to appeal assessments. This bill would interpose the General Assembly in this existing process for resolution of disputes about the valuation of property.

Action Required – HB 1204 was recommended to be reported by the House Finance Committee’s Subcommittee #1 on January 31 and will be heard by the House Finance Committee on February 7. Please contact members of the House Finance Committee and express opposition to this legislation.

KEY POINTS

  • Adopting land use value taxation should be a local decision, not a mandate by the General Assembly.
  • A process for appealing assessments is already in place.  Taxpayers may appeal to the local assessor or Commissioner of the Revenue, the local Board of Equalization, and Circuit Court.

KEY CONTACTS

House Finance Committee: Ware (Chairman), Pogge (Vice Chair), Orrock, Byron, Cole, Hugo, Cline, Fariss, Fowler, Bloxom, Freitas, Brewer, Watts, Keam, Filler-Corn, Kory, Sullivan, Heretick, Lindsey, Ayala, Jones, J.C., Carter

VACo Contact: Katie Boyle

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