Vermont’s Use Value Appraisal law (UVA), often called Current Use, is an important program for owner’s of Vermont woodlands. The program allows for the valuation and taxation of farm and forest land based on its remaining in agricultural or forest use instead of its value in the market place. The primary objectives of the program is to keep Vermont’s agricultural and forest land in production, help slow the development of these lands, and achieve greater equity in property taxation on undeveloped land.
UVA is arguably the most successful state program for conserving Vermont’s working landscape. Statewide, there are 19,000 parcels of land enrolled in the UVA program comprised of 1.9 million acres of forestland and 500,000 acres of agricultural land. Windham County’s UVA enrollment totals 1682 parcels covering almost 200,000 acres. By achieving a greater equity in property taxes on undeveloped land, the program has kept forest and agricultural land in active production.
A key to the forest land program is the commitment to manage the land to a state-defined standard. Signing and submitting a forestry plan is only the first step for a landowner. You are joining a statewide community of forest stewards. There is much to learn about your own forest, and there are ongoing communications with the county forester, your consulting forester, and also the current use arm of state tax department.
WRWA presented a program on Vermont’s Use Value Appraisal rules on November 28, 2018. The presentation was delivered by Windham County Forester, Sam Schneski. WRWA arranged to have the program recorded in and it can be viewed here: