Land Use Program

Information: (804) 501-4306

Title 58.1-3230 through 3244 of the Code of Virginia provides for the assessment of land based on use value rather than market value. Use value is the assessment of the land for a specific purpose and is generally lower than market value. This is a local option statute adopted by Henrico County in 1976. The requirements for qualification and use values are established by the State Land Evaluation Advisory Council.

Land Use Requirements

There are four categories under which a property may qualify for a use value assessment. Following are general requirements for each classification:


The qualifying area shall be a minimum of five acres, and must have been devoted, for at least five consecutive years previous, to the production for sale of plant or animal products useful to man, or devoted to another qualifying use. Applicants must certify that the real estate is being used in a planned program of management and production.


The qualifying area shall be a minimum of five acres, and must have been devoted, for at least five consecutive years previous, to the production for sale of nursery, greenhouse, cut flowers, plant materials, orchards, vineyards, and small fruit products. Basic provisions that govern Agricultural also apply to Horticultural.

Open Space

The qualifying area shall be a minimum of five acres, and conform with the local land use plan. Specific standards include providing or preserving for parks or recreational purposes, conservation of land or other natural resources, flood-ways, historic or scenic areas, and assisting in the shaping of the character, direction, and timing of community development, or for the public interest.

The owner of real estate qualifying under Open-Space must submit an Open- Space Agreement. This is a binding accord between the owner and Henrico County, as prescribed under 58.1-3233 of the Code of Virginia.


The qualifying area shall be a minimum of twenty acres, and may consist of productive or nonproductive forest land. To qualify under productive, the land must be growing a commercial forest crop that is physically accessible for harvesting when mature. Nonproductive is land devoted to forest use, but is not capable of producing a crop of industrial wood because of inaccessibility or adverse site conditions. The owner shall certify that the real estate is being used in a planned program of timber management and soil conservation practices. Certification of intent by the owner may be shown by:

  1. Planned Program of Timber Management prepared by a professional forester.
  2. A signed commitment to maintain and protect forest land from land-use objectives to include methods of resource management and soil and water protection.

Non-Qualifying Acreage

Acreage that does not qualify for the Land Use Program is assessed at market value rather than use value.


New applicants applying for the Land Use Program must prepare a single application in triplicate. An affidavit must also be completed and accompany the application. There is a filing fee of twenty dollars plus ten cents per acre. This fee is non-refundable. Applications will not be accepted if there are any delinquent taxes owed on the parcel of land sought to qualify. When a separation or split-off of a parcel occurs, and the remaining acreage continues to meet standards for the Land Use Program, the owner must reapply. Requirements are the same as for new applicants.


Re-validation forms must be filed annually to continue the parcel in the Land Use Program. There is no charge to re-validate.

Filing Date

All applications are due by November 1, of the current year. Individuals may file up to December 15th of the current year, by paying a late filing fee. The late filing fee for revalidation is twenty dollars plus ten cents per acre.

Roll-Back Taxes

Roll-back taxes for the current and up to five years are assessed when the property no longer conforms with the Standards for Classification of the Land Use Program. These taxes, plus interest, are calculated on the difference in assessment between market value and use value. An owner who changes the parcel to a non-qualifying use is liable for roll-back taxes, and has the responsibility of notifying the County of such a change within 60 days. Examples of change in use include:

  1. Rezoning.
  2. Selling an insufficient amount to qualify.
  3. Ceases to be in production.

Real Estate Taxes

Real estate assessments are effective January 1st. The taxes are billed semiannually. First half taxes are due June 5th, second half taxes are due December 5th.

Contact Person

Information regarding the Land Use Program is available by contacting: Ms. Beth Welch in the Real Estate Assessment Division at 804-501-4306.

Real Estate Assessment Division

General Information 804-501-4300
Fax 804-501-5420

Farm Service Agency


Local Forester


A brochure containing this information is available from the Real Estate Assessment Division.

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