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In accordance with Title 58.1 Chapter 36 of the Virginia Code real property as delineated in the statute are exempt from taxation by classification or designation. The state code tax exemptions are based on specific "uses" and this office ensures those "uses" are being adhered to prior to granting an exemption. The term exempt by classification refers to real property used by a specific group such as a church, to be exempt by designation a governing body must specify the property owner by name. Property owned by a specific group is not automatically exempt based on ownership name, but that the owner is "using" the property for the exempt purpose of the organization. In order to receive the exemption a letter and/or application is required and in certain cases approval by the Board of Supervisors.
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The value is used as the "basis" for the tax; however, it does not determine how much "Tax" you remit to the County annually. The Board of Supervisors annually adopt a budget based on their opinion of the needs of the County and the amount of the "Tax" assessed is a result of this process.
The Commissioner of the Revenue is the Real Property Tax Administrator for the County as such we maintain all records of ownership based on deed transfers, wills, chancery and special warranty deeds, create new parcels based on recordation in the Clerk of Circuit Courts, assess annually all taxes on each taxable parcel, supplement and exonerate all changes in value, maintain tax maps, administer all tax exemptions and special assessment programs of the County and State. In addition, we oversee the Public Service taxation and Bank Franchise validation for the Commonwealth.
The values listed on the Land Book are static values as required by state law and are used for purposes of taxation effective January 1st of each calendar year. The Real Estate Assessment Department continues to update their records after January 1st to reflect changes in acreage, new construction, Board of Equalization reviews and factual errors of record.
Tax maps are updated annually as new plats are recorded in the Circuit Court Clerk's Office and used for the purpose of creating each parcels unique identifiers or Tax Map Numbers, relate the ownership record to their approximate location within the boundaries of the County and are used as a visual reference for property owners, surveyors and the like. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) maps are intelligent data sets used for analyzing or identifying specific information such as flood designations, sanitary districts, zoning, mosquito control districts as well as being used by various departments of the County and State for analysis of data.
The purpose of the program is to preserve land where real property is specifically devoted to agriculture, forestry and horticultural uses. The program is designed to defer the fair market value and in its place assign a special assessment based strictly on use value versus market value. Market Value represents the highest and best use of real property where Special Assessments for Land Preservation represent limited uses which benefit all citizens. When real property changes from its limited use to the highest and best use, the difference in value or deferment in value assigned through special assessment is taxed for the current and five previous tax years. For example, when parcels change from Forestry or Farm use to residential developments.
All mailing addresses are maintained based on the recorded title of property being assigned to its specific ownership. When this office receives a deed or other recorded document from the Circuit Court Clerk's Office a mailing address is listed on the recordation. Often times Attorneys or Title Companies inadvertently list the wrong address on the recordation and for this reason you should verify with your Attorney or Title Company the mailing address you desire to use in this transaction. If it is incorrectly listed, then you can file a change of address form with our office.
Tax Relief programs have qualifications that are either listed in the Code of Virginia, Title 58.1 or the County Code of Gloucester. This office is the administrator for the programs; however, the qualifications and policies that determine whether and individual qualifies are codified in the State and County Codes.
If your home lies within the Mosquito District or one of the two Sanitary Districts located in the County an additional tax rate is applied to the value according to ordinances adopted by the Board of Supervisors.