In 2022 the Virginia General Assembly established the Forest Sustainability Fund administered by the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF). The new Fund, supported by VACo, allows localities with forest use-value assessment to apply for an allocation from the Fund to help to offset lower, or foregone tax revenue. Allocations from the Fund may only be used for public education or for projects related to outdoor recreation or forest conservation.
The process for 2022 will start with VDOF sending an email to commissioners of revenue in localities with forest use-value in mid-October with application instructions. Applicants will need to provide basic contact information, a copy of the ordinance that established forest land use taxation, and the amount of foregone revenue due to forest land use taxation (the fair market value of forest land minus the forest use value of forest land times the locality tax rate). Applications will be facilitated through an online grants portal and are due on November 15.
VDOF will review the applications and make distributions to the localities from the Fund, based upon their proportional share of the total applications received. In 2022, there is $1,000,000 in the Fund.
For more information email forestmgt@DOF.Virginia.gov.
VACo Contact: Joe Lerch, AICP