The owner of any real estate, other than real estate devoted to open space use, meeting the criteria set forth in Code of Virginia, §§ 58.1-3230 et seq., may, on or before November 1 of any year, make an application to the Commissioner of Revenue for the classification, assessment and taxation of such property for the next succeeding year on the basis of its use, under the procedures set forth in Code of Virginia, § 58.1-3234. Such application shall be on forms provided by the State Department of Taxation and supplied by the Commissioner of Revenue and shall include such schedules, photographs and drawings as may be required by the Commissioner of Revenue. Applications shall be filed annually, on or before November 1 of each year, if special assessment is desired to be continued. However, upon the payment of a late filing fee in addition to the application fee, which late filing fee shall be $25 per parcel, plus $0.25 per acre on the total acreage, an owner may file an application within no more than 60 days after the filing deadline specified herein.
In any year in which a general reassessment is being made, a property owner may submit the application provided for in this section by November 1 or within 30 days of the mailing of his notice of increase in assessment, whichever is later.
A separate application shall be filed under this section for each parcel on the land book. An application shall also be submitted whenever the use or acreage of land previously approved changes.
An application fee at the rate of $25 per parcel, plus $0.25 per acre on the total acreage per individual owner, shall be paid to the Treasurer of the County for each application filed under this section. The application fee shall apply to original as well as renewal applications. Upon the payment of such application fee, together with the payment of a late filing fee to the Treasurer, at the rate of $25 per parcel, plus $0.25 per acre on the total acreage, an owner may file a late application within no more than 60 days after the filing deadline specified in this section. These fees may be changed from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
No application for assessment based on use shall be accepted or approved if, at the time the application is filed, the tax on the land affected is delinquent.
Promptly upon receipt of any application under this article, the Commissioner of Revenue shall determine whether the subject property meets the criteria for taxation hereunder, subject to the applicable provisions of the Code of Virginia. If the Commissioner of Revenue determines that the subject property does meet such criteria, the Commissioner 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 Commissioner of Revenue shall request an opinion from the State Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce; in determining whether the subject property meets the criteria for forest use, an opinion from the Director of the State Department of Conservation and Economic Development shall be requested. Upon the refusal of any such officer to issue an opinion, or in the event of an unfavorable opinion which does not comport with standards set forth by such officer, the party aggrieved may seek relief from any court of record wherein the real estate in question is located. If the court finds in his favor, it may issue an order which shall serve in lieu of an opinion for the purposes of this article.
The use value and fair market value of any property qualifying under this article shall be placed on the land book before delivery to the County Treasurer, and the tax for the next succeeding tax year shall be extended from the use value.
If on April 1 of any year the taxes for any prior year on any parcel of real property which has a special assessment under this article are delinquent, the Treasurer of the County shall forthwith send notice of that fact and the provisions of this article to the property owner by first-class mail. If, after the notice has been sent, such delinquent taxes remain unpaid on June 1, the Treasurer shall notify the Commissioner of Revenue, who shall remove such parcel from the land use program effective for that current tax year.
There is hereby imposed a rollback tax and interest thereon, in such amounts as may be determined under the applicable provisions of the Code of Virginia, upon any property as to which the use changes to a nonqualifying use under this article.
The owner of any real estate liable for rollback taxes shall report to the Commissioner of Revenue, on forms to be prescribed, any change in the use of such property to a nonqualifying use and shall pay the rollback tax then due. On failure to report and pay within 60 days following such change in use, such owner shall be liable for an additional penalty equal to 10% of the amount of the rollback 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 1/2% of the amount of the rollback tax, interest and penalty, for each month or fraction thereof during which the failure continues.
Any person making a material misstatement of fact in any application filed pursuant to this article 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 County, together with interest and penalties thereon, and the owner shall be further assessed with an additional penalty of 100% of such unpaid taxes.
The provisions of Code of Virginia, Title 58.1, applicable to local levies and real estate assessment and taxation shall be applicable to assessments and taxation under this article mutatis mutandis, including, without limitation, provisions relating to tax liens and the correction of erroneous assessments, and, for such purposes, the rollback taxes shall be considered to be deferred real estate taxes.
This article shall be effective for all tax years beginning on and after January 1, 2004.