Land Use

About the Land Use Division
The staff of this section of the Commissioner of the Revenue's Office administers the County's Special Assessment for Land Preservation program and tax relief programs for the elderly and/or disabled.

The Special Assessment for the Land Preservation program is designed to discourage the sprawling development of farm, forest, or open space lands that have development occurring close by. Generally, assessment rules require that property be valued in comparison to similar parcels in the vicinity.

Following those rules, however, may make it economically impossible for undeveloped property to remain that way if growth is driving up property values and tax bills are going up with them. In such situations, owners may apply to have their property specially assessed for tax purposes. The land must meet certain size and other specifications laid out in State and city codes. In exchange for a commitment from the property owner not to change the land use, the County's assessors will only consider the property's current use in determining its value rather than its higher value if it were sold for more intensive development. Staff in this section process applications for special assessment, confirm that property meets requirements and rechecks the status of property in the program annually to be sure it still qualifies.

Tax Relief
The County's program of tax relief for property owners who are elderly and/or disabled is also administered here. Public information is provided to taxpayers about the program and assistance in determining eligibility is provided as requested.