What is Current Use?
In 1978, the Vermont legislature passed a law establishing the Use Value Appraisal of Agricultural, Forest, Conservation and Farm Buildings Property. Today, this program is known as "Current Use" and is administered by the Division of Property Valuation and Review within the Vermont Department of Taxes.
The purpose of the law was to allow 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 were 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. Benefits for land enrolled in the program were first distributed in tax year 1980.
Participation in the program has grown as it has evolved. The two most significant changes have been the inclusion of conservation land owned by qualifying nonprofit organizations and the exemption from all property taxes of eligible farm buildings. When an application is approved and recorded in the municipal land records, a lien is established on the enrolled land to recover a land use change tax should all or any portion of the enrolled land become developed.
To ensure that parcels with a use value appraisal are appraised by the local assessing officials consistent with the appraisals for non-enrolled parcels an annual audit is conducted on three towns with lands enrolled program. You can review the results of these findings in the Current Use Audit Report.
As of September 2016, there were more than 18,400 parcels of land enrolled totaling more than 2.4 million acres, about one-third of Vermont’s total land.
Find out if your property is eligible for the Current Use Program or submit your application online.