The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors has approved

the form that will be used in a revalidation process

for land owners who receive land use taxation.  The Board held a work session on July 9, 2008, at which some members said they wanted to inspect such a form before setting a public hearing. After giving consent to the form, Supervisors voted to hold a public hearing on revalidation at its meeting on October 1, 2008.


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“The form was developed by looking at other jurisdictions,” said County Assessor Bruce Woodzell. “And

then we tried to take good parts of each form and developed our own.”  The first draft was taken to the Farm Bureau and improved to make it as straight-forward as possible.

Supervisor

David Slutzky

(Rio) wanted to know why

Woodzell recommended

not charging a fee for revalidation. Woodzell responded that because the land use program has never required revalidation, it did not seem appropriate. Once the revalidation program is initiated, there will be a late fee of $125 for anyone who files after the reporting deadline. Anyone who fails to submit a form after a second deadline would be removed from the program.

Supervisor

Ken Boyd

(Rivanna) said he was concerned that a landowner who does not comply with revalidation in the first year would suddenly wind up having their parcel taken out of land use taxation, which would mean the full tax rate would be assessed for a “rollback” period of five years. Woodzell said he would do his best to reach all taxpayers to let them know of the changes, and to correct any mistakes made by property owners.

Supervisor

Sally Thomas

(Samuel Miller) said other counties across Virginia put the purpose of the land use taxation program clearly on their revalidation forms. She requested such a statement be put in bold letters somewhere on Albemarle County’s form.

Neil Williamson, Executive Director of the Free Enterprise Forum, praised the method in which the form was developer in

an entry on his organization’s website

.

“This is a good example how reaching out to those who are to be regulated assisted in the development of a positive county policy that has the political buy in from the community,” Williamson wrote. “Clearly, by reaching out to ask the opinions of those who are to be regulated, government can do more than eliminate errors, they build credibility and confidence.”

If the Board approves the revalidation process after its public
hearing, the program would go into effect in time for the fiscal year
beginning July 1, 2009.

Sean Tubbs

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