Bill clarifying local ability to exempt forestry equipment from personal property taxes moves forward

February 4, 2020

HB 1021 (Adams, L.) amends a Code section dealing with a local option to exempt farm machinery from personal property taxation.  The bill authorizes a local option to exempt equipment and machinery used for forest harvesting and silvicultural activities and was brought at the request of the Virginia Loggers Association in order to clarify that such equipment could qualify for an exemption or differential rate at local option, similar to existing provisions governing equipment used for horticulture and farm wineries.  VACo worked with the proponents and patron of the bill to ensure that the language specified a separate local option to exempt or partially exempt forestry equipment, so that a local governing body could choose whether to offer the exemption to forestry equipment in addition to any exemptions it may already provide to traditional farming equipment or other types of property already covered by the existing statute.  VACo now supports the bill, which was unanimously reported from subcommittee and full committee and is now on the House floor.

VACo Contacts:  Joe Lerch, AICP and Katie Boyle

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