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Local Option - Property Tax Assessment for Energy Efficient Buildings

Low-Income Residential
Multi-Family Residential
Program Info
Program Type 
Property Tax Incentive
Virginia Department of Taxation

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, [ Chapter 30, Article V, Division 4] for more information)
* County of Spotsylvania (see [ 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,[ Special Tax Rate], for more information)