Land use Program Information

Title 58.1-3230 - 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 Goochland County in 1978. The requirements for qualification and use values are established by the State Land Evaluation Advisory Council.

Qualifying Requirements

  • Land must be in production for sale prior to entering the program as agriculture or horticulture.
  • Land must be zoned as Agricultural.
  • Land must meet minimum acreages for each land use category.
  • All real estate taxes have been paid on parcel

Land Use Categories


      Agriculture Use

  • 5-acre minimum, excluding 1 acre house site
  • Land must be in production for sale of hay, grain, crops or pasture. Pasture must have the following minimums of livestock:
    • 1 head of cattle per 5 acres
    • 5 swine or 5 sheep per 5 acres
    • 66 turkeys or 100 chickens per 5 acres
    • *Pleasure horses do not qualify for Land Use.  Horses must be used for breeding, training, boarding, sale of manure, etc.


      Horticulture Use

  • 5 acre minimum, excluding 1 acre house site
  • Land must be used for the sale of fruits, nuts, berries, vegetables, Christmas trees, nursery or floral items


      Forest Use

  • 20 acre minimum, excluding 1 acre house site
  • Land must be in trees and an agreement must be signed to certify forest use

Application Process


All owners must sign the Land Use Application which are accepted in the Assessor's Office until November 1st. Upon field inspection and approval, the property will be taxed based on use value effective for the next tax year's reassessment cycle.  There is a $25.00 filing fee per application.  Fees are non-refundable.  Applications will not be accepted if there are delinquent taxes on the property .  The application is available on this website and in the Assessor's Office.


Changes to the Property


Any change in use must be reported to the Goochland County Assessor’s Office within 60 days of the date of change to avoid having a penalty applied to the roll-back tax. 

 Examples of change in use include: 

  •  Rezoning 
  • Selling land leaving an insufficient amount of acreage to qualify 
  • Ceases to be in production
  • New dwelling
  • Name change on contiguous parcel

Roll-back Taxes


  • When real estate no longer qualifies for the Land Use Assessment Program, it becomes subject to roll-back tax. 
  • The roll-back tax is calculated on the difference between the tax levied, based on a use-value assessment and the tax that would have been levied, based on a market value assessment. 
  • The roll-back tax shall be equal to the sum of the deferred tax for the current year and for each of the five most recent tax years, plus interest. 

To continue to qualify for Land Use Taxation, the parcel must:


  • Continue to meet the minimum acreage and yield requirements.
  • Land owners must revalidate their information annually.
    •  The Land Use Revalidation Application process will begin September 1, 2016.
    • All owners must sign the application with the exception if a Letter of Authorization or Power of Attorney is on file.  Then the representative would sign.
    •  Completed Revalidation Applications shall be filed with the county assessor's no later than November 1st.
    • We will continue to receive the Revalidation Applications with a $25 late fee through December 5th. No applications will be received after this date.
    •  Failure to file a Revalidation Application as provided will invalidate the initial Land Use  Application and will cause the property described in such application to be assessed at its fair market value for the following tax year and subsequent tax years.
    • Owners of such real property may submit a new Land Use Application for the following year in accordance with the program requirements.
    • If audited and asked for proof, you should be able to show 5 years or more of the following:  

    • Schedule F for farm income or 1120S for an S Corporation
    • Schedule C for agricultural service provided.
    • Current year receipts from stock yard sales (make copy while check is attached), valid bill of sale from hay and/or crop sales.
    • For horses: Schedule F, Schedule C, boarding agreements and list of renters, copy of Business License.
    • Note:  If you farm property other than your own, total income must be enough to qualify all properties you farm. Example, if you farm 3 parcels plus your own, you must submit at least $4,000 each year.
    • All income data is kept confidential in the Assessor's office.
    •  To insure the integrity of the Land Use Program, the Assessor will periodically audit for proof of a bona-fide agricultural production business.



  • Any person failing to report properly any change in use of property for which an application for use value taxation had been filed shall be liable for all such taxes, in such amounts and at such times as if he had complied herewith and assessments had been properly made, and he shall be liable for such penalties and interest thereon as may be provided by ordinance. Any person making a material misstatement of fact in any such application shall be liable for such 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 taxing jurisdiction, together with interest and penalties thereon. If such material misstatement was made with the intent to defraud the locality, he shall be further assessed with an additional penalty of 100% of such unpaid taxes. §58.1-3238