The Vermont Statutes Online
The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
Subchapter 001 : Agricultural Land and Managed Forestland Use Value Appraisal Program(Cite as: 32 V.S.A. § 3756)
§ 3756. Qualification for use value appraisal
(a) The owner of eligible agricultural land, farm buildings, or managed forestland shall be entitled to have eligible property appraised at its use value, provided the owner shall have applied to the Director on or before September 1 of the previous tax year, on a form provided by the Director. A farmer whose application has been accepted on or before December 31 by the Director of the Division of Property Valuation and Review of the Department of Taxes for enrollment for the use value program for the current tax year shall be entitled to have eligible property appraised at its use value if the farmer was prevented from applying on or before September 1 of the previous year due to the severe illness of the farmer.
(c) The Director shall notify the applicant not later than April 15 of the Director’s decision to classify or refusal to classify the applicant’s property as eligible for use value appraisal. In the case of a refusal, the Director shall state the reasons therefor in the notification.
(d) The assessing officials shall appraise qualifying agricultural and managed forestland and farm buildings at use value appraisal as defined in subdivision 3752(12) of this title. If the land to be appraised is a portion of a parcel, any portion not receiving a use value appraisal shall be valued at its fair market value as a stand-alone parcel, and, for the purposes of the payment under section 3760 of this chapter, the entire parcel shall be valued at its fair market value as other similar parcels in the municipality.
(e) Once a use value appraisal has been applied for and granted under this section, such appraisal shall remain in effect for subsequent tax years pursuant to the provisions of subsection (f) of this section and until the property concerned is transferred to another owner or is no longer eligible under provisions of section 3752 or 3755 of this chapter, or due to a change of use, or as otherwise provided in section 3757 of this chapter. If enrolled property is transferred to another owner, the new owner shall be entitled to continue to have the eligible property appraised at its use value, provided the property remains eligible and provided the new owner shall elect the continuation of use value appraisal on the property transfer tax return at the time of transfer and, within 30 days after the property transfer tax return has been received by the municipality for recording, has applied to the Director and paid the fees described in this subsection. The grant of use value appraisals of agricultural forestland and farm buildings shall be recorded in the land records of the municipality by the clerk of the municipality. Applications shall include the fees specified in subdivision 1671(a)(6) or subsection 1671(c) of this title, and a fee of $70.00 for deposit in a special fund established and managed pursuant to chapter 7, subchapter 5 of this title. The Fund shall be available as payment for the fees of the clerk of the municipality and to offset the costs of administering the application and managing the program.
(f) Each year the Director shall determine whether previously classified property is still eligible for use value appraisal and whether the amount of the previous appraisal is still valid. If the Director determines that previously classified property is no longer eligible, or that the property has undergone a change in use such that the use change tax may be levied in accordance with section 3757 of this chapter, or that the use value appraisal should be fixed at a different amount than the previous year, the Director shall thereafter notify the property owner of that determination.
(g) The Director shall execute and provide other forms and the Board shall adopt other procedures and regulations as are needed to ensure a fair opportunity for owners to qualify under this subchapter and to ensure compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
(h) On or before March 15, the Director shall provide to each municipality a list of property in the municipality that is to be taxed based on its use value appraisal. The list shall include the owners’ names, a grand list number or description of each parcel of land to be appraised at use value, the acreage to be taxed on the basis of use value, the use values to be used for land, and the number and type of farm buildings to be appraised by the assessing officials at use value. The assessing officials shall determine the listed value of the land to be taxed at use value and its estimated fair market value and fill in these values and the difference between them on the form. This form shall be used by the Treasurer or the collector of current taxes to make up tax bills such that the owner is billed only for taxes due on the owner’s property not enrolled in the program, plus taxes due on the use value of property enrolled in the program. The assessing officials shall submit the completed form to the Director on or before July 5.
(i)(1) After providing 30 days’ notice to the owner, the Director shall remove from use value appraisal an entire parcel of managed forestland and notify the owner when the Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation has not received a required management activity report or has received an adverse inspection report, unless the lack of conformance consists solely of the failure to make prescribed planned cutting. In that case, the Director may delay removal from use value appraisal for a period of one year at a time to allow time to bring the parcel into conformance with the plan.
(2)(A) The Director shall remove from use value appraisal an entire parcel or parcels of agricultural land and farm buildings identified by the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets as being used by a person:
(i) found, after administrative hearing, or contested judicial hearing or motion, to be in violation of water quality requirements established under 6 V.S.A. chapter 215, or any rules adopted or any permit or certification issued under 6 V.S.A. chapter 215; or
(ii) who is not in compliance with the terms of an administrative or court order issued under 6 V.S.A. chapter 215, subchapter 10 to remedy a violation of the requirements of 6 V.S.A. chapter 215 or any rules adopted or any permit or certification issued under 6 V.S.A. chapter 215.
(B) The Director shall notify the owner that agricultural land or a farm building has been removed from use value appraisal by providing notification of removal to the owner. After removal of agricultural land or a farm building from use value appraisal under this section, the Director shall not consider a new application for use value appraisal for the agricultural land or farm building until the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets submits to the Director a certification that the owner or operator of the agricultural land or farm building is complying with the water quality requirements of 6 V.S.A. chapter 215 or an order issued under 6 V.S.A. chapter 215. After submission of a certification by the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets, an owner or operator shall be eligible to apply for enrollment of the agricultural land or farm building according to the requirements of this section.
(j) The Commissioner may exempt a farmer-owner of agricultural land and farm buildings located within the municipality and otherwise eligible under this subchapter for use value appraisal from the terms of the definition of a “farmer” contained in subdivision 3752(7) of this chapter, for a year at a time, because of personal hardship created by personal or family disability or death, by economic disaster such as loss of farm buildings, equipment, or livestock due to fire or disease, or by natural disaster such as flood or drought. The agricultural land and farm buildings concerned shall continue in this instance to be taxed on the basis of use value appraisal. (Added 1977, No. 236 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1983, No. 220 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 6-10; 1985, No. 35, § 1; 1987, No. 57, § 5, eff. July 1, 1988; 1987, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 60; 1995, No. 29, § 4, eff. April 14, 1995; 1995, No. 178 (Adj. Sess.), § 288; 1997, No. 59, § 11, eff. June 30, 1997; 2001, No. 140 (Adj. Sess.), § 33, eff. June 21, 2002; 2007, No. 190 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. June 6, 2008; 2007, No. 205 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 2, 6, eff. June 10, 2008; 2013, No. 191 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2015, No. 57, § 50, eff. Oct. 2, 2015; 2015, No. 57, § 52; 2015, No. 64, § 23; 2021, No. 43, § 3; 2023, No. 72, § 11, eff. June 19, 2023.)