In March 2008, Virginia enacted legislation that would allow local jurisdictions to assess the property tax of energy efficient buildings at a reduced rate. Under this law, eligible energy-efficient buildings, not including the real property on which they are located, may be considered a separate class of property for local taxation purposes. Accordingly, the governing body of any county, city or town may, by ordinance, allow a special assessment of the property taxes for this class of property.
An energy-efficient building is defined as any building that exceeds the energy efficiency standards of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code by 30%; meets performance standards of the Green Globes Green Building Rating System, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) System or the EarthCraft House Program; or qualifies as an Energy Star home under federal Energy Star criteria.
Among the communities that have enacted an ordinance implementing this law include:
* City of Charlottesville (see Charlottesville's city code, [http://library1.municode.com:80/default-test/template.htm?view=browse&do... Chapter 30, Article V, Division 4] for more information)
* County of Spotsylvania (see [http://www.countyofspotsylvania.us/emplibrary/ORDINANCE_NO_21_63.pdf Ordinance No. 21-63] for more information on the five-year county tax exemption for energy efficient buildings)
* City of Virginia Beach (see Virginia Beach's Real Estate Assessments,[http://www.vbgov.com/vgn.aspx?vgnextoid=9a0fed88660db210VgnVCM100000190c... Special Tax Rate], for more information)