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Real Estate Tax

Please scroll down (or click the links below) to see important information on the following subjects:

All real estate is subject to taxation, except that specifically exempted by state code. Property is assessed on July 1 for each fiscal year which begins annually on July 1 and ends on June 30 of the following year. Tax bills are due in two equal installments, December 5 and June 5. As required by Virginia Code, every two – four years Isle of Wight County conducts a General Reassessment on all real estate. A professional and independent reappraisal company hired by the Board of Supervisors carries out this task.

The Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office is also responsible for assessing property that has been affected by subdivision, new construction, and improvements or additions to an existing structure that are completed between the General Reassessments. If there is a change of billing address, or any other change pertaining to your taxes, please notify the Commissioner of the Revenue at (757) 365-6218.

The Real Estate Division of the Commissioner’s Office is responsible for maintaining all real property records for the purpose of assessment and taxation. Property records are accessible to the public. Transfers of property ownership are performed by obtaining deed transfers, wills, and other records from the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Plats of survey are used to adjust acreages and create new parcels under County subdivision ordinances. It is important that deeds of transfer, wills and plats of survey be recorded in the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office in a timely manner in order to ensure that actual owners of property are accurately assessed.

Railroads, pipelines and utility properties are assessed by the State Corporation Commission or Department of Taxation and are reported to the Commissioner of the Revenue for inclusion in the local tax roll. The Commissioner of the Revenue verifies this information and maintains these records in the office.

Land Use Assessment Program


Agricultural or Pasture Use
Requires five (5) acres minimum for agricultural or pasture use. Must be devoted to the bona fide production for sale of plants and animals useful to man under uniform standards prescribed by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, or when devoted to and meeting the requirements and qualifications for payments or other compensation pursuant to a soil conservation program under an agreement with an agency of the federal government.

Horticultural Use
Requires five (5) acres minimum in horticultural use. Must be devoted to the bona fide production for sale of fruits of all kinds, vegetables, nursery and floral products under uniform standards prescribed by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, or devoted to and meetings requirements and qualifications for payment or other compensation pursuant to a soil conservation program under an agreement with an agency of the federal government.

Forest Use
Requires twenty (20) acres minimum in forest use when devoted to tree growth in such quantity and so spaced and maintained as to constitute a forest area under standards prescribed by the State Forester.

Applications for taxation on the basis of a land use assessment must be received by April 30th in the Commissioner of the Revenue’s office. This application, if approved, will be effective for the next fiscal tax year which will begin on July 1.

There is a fifty-dollar ($50) application fee for new applications; checks should be made payable to the County of Isle of Wight Treasurer. The application includes an Affidavit. All owners of the property must sign the application. An amended application shall be submitted whenever the use, acreage or zoning of the parcel previously approved changes.

Click here for an Application for Taxation on the Basis of a Land Use Assessment

Incorrect information on the application will be considered material misstatements and subject the owner to removal from the program with the possibility of a rollback tax assessment.

In the County of Isle of Wight property owners who have made no change to the land, its use, its zoning or its ownership are not required to revalidate the application.

Change in Use or Zoning
If the use of the property is changed to a non-qualifying use or if the property is rezoned to a more intensive use, this change must be reported to the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office within sixty (60) days after such change occurs.  An amended application must be filed if the acreage changes.

Rollback Taxes
When real estate that has been taxed according to special assessment changes to a non-qualifying use (a change in use), a rollback tax will be applied. Rollback taxes are also applied when property, at the request of the owner or agent, is rezoned to a more intensive use (a change in zoning). If a parcel is subdivided or a split-off parcel occurs (subdivision) rollback taxes will be applied when the parcels affected do not meet the land use qualifications.

Rollback tax is equal to the difference between the land use value tax and the fair market value tax for the present, and each of the five (5) previous tax years pursuant to the Code of Virginia § 58.1-3237. Interest and penalties only apply if the rollback tax is not paid within thirty (30) days.

Payment of Taxes
Property shall be removed from the land use assessment program if delinquent taxes are not paid by June 1 of the year following the year in which due.


What is the Land Use Assessment Program?
It is a tax deferral program developed under state law that allows communities to adopt a program of special assessments for agricultural, horticultural, and forest.

What is the purpose of this Program?
The purpose is to encourage the preservation and beneficial use of real estate in order to assure a readily available source of agricultural, horticultural, and forest products.

How will this program save me money?
Qualifying properties are taxed based on the “use” value assessment, which generally is less than fair market value assessments.

Will I have to pay rollback taxes if I sell a portion of my property?
If the subdivided portion or the residual portion does not meet the minimum acreage and use qualifications, then the acreage is subject to rollback taxes.

If I change the “use” of my property to a non-qualifying use, can the parcel stay in the land use assessment program?
No, the property must be in a continuous qualifying use. The property owner is required to report any change in the use of the property to the Commissioner of the Revenue within sixty (60) days of when the use changes. At that time, the property will be removed from the program and rollback taxes may be assessed.

What happens when I sell my property?
As long as the property remains in a “qualifying use”, the entire parcel can remain in the land use assessment program.

In order to qualify for a land use assessment is it mandatory to receive income from the use of my property?
Yes, the application process requires property owners to certify the income earned from agricultural and horticultural use of the property.

How will my property qualify for a special use value assessment?
A qualifying parcel must meet the criteria set by the Uniform Standards of the Virginia land use laws. Qualifying uses under the agricultural and horticultural classification include:

  • Grain and feed crops
  • Forage crops
  • Bees and apiary products
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits and nuts
  • Commercial sod and seed
  • Tobacco, cotton, and peanuts
  • Dairy animals and dairy products
  • Nursery and floral products
  • Poultry and poultry products
  • Livestock; beef cattle, sheep, swine, horses