Changes to Shenandoah County land program met with mixed reviews
A proposed change to Shenandoah County’s land use program aimed at promoting agriculture has raised questions about fairness. Currently, agricultural land in the program is given a lower assessment and thus taxed less. Once the zoning of the properties is changed from agricultural to industrial use, several years of roll-back taxes are charged. The proposal is to charge the roll-back not when the zones are changed, but rather when the actual use of the land changes. This would allow land owners to still use land for agricultural purposes while seeking to sell the property. While the proposal has drawn much support, some claim that it would unfairly benefit those with larger or multiple properties. Because the land use program requires five contiguous acres of land to stay in the program, rezoning sections of property could disqualify those with smaller amounts of land.
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