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Use Value Appraisal

Vermont’s Use Value Appraisal (UVA) Program, also called “Current Use” or “Land Use”, enables landowners who practice long-term forest management to have their enrolled land appraised for property taxes based on its value for forestry, rather than its fair market (development) value. When land is enrolled in the UVA program, the State attaches a permanent lien to the deed. Productive forest land appraised under this program receives this assessment as long as it is actively managed, unless the landowner decides to withdraw the land from the program, the legislature ends the program, or the parcel is discontinued by the Division of Property Valuation & Review. If enrolled forest land is developed or harvested improperly, a land use change tax is levied on the developed portion and all or a portion will be discontinued from UVA.

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  Photo taken in the Mard River Valley in Vermont.  I has a mt. in the background and  a farm and field in the foreground.

Program Requirements

The summary below provides only a brief description of program requirements. For complete details, please contact your County Forester and/or the Vermont Tax Department's Division of Property Valuation and Review.

The Forest Management Plan

To be enrolled, forest land must have an approved, 10-year forest management plan. This document should clearly state the landowner’s long-term forest management goals, describe forest stand conditions including tree inventory data, forest management objectives and treatments, and include both a detailed map and schedule for forest management activities and care of Ecologically Significant Treatment Areas (ESTAs). Plans expire after 10 years. In order to keep their land assessed at use value, the landowners need to submit an updated plan with current data.

Since the plan must assure that the land is being managed according to accepted forest standards, most landowners contract with private resource consultants to develop, write and implement the plan.  County foresters and Fish & Wildlife Department biologists are employed by the State to administer the program and do not write Use Value plans. The County Foresters’ role is to advise landowners and consultants, review and approve management plans and Forest Management Activity Reports, and to conduct on-site monitoring.

Ongoing Responsibility

Landowners have an ongoing responsibility to manage the enrolled parcel in a manner prescribed by their approved forest management plan. For continued eligibility, a Forest Management Activity Report (FMAR) must be filed with the county forester by February 1 detailing any forestry activities from the preceding year. If none occurred, no report is due.

All forest land parcels will be field-inspected by county foresters periodically to ensure accuracy of the management plan and to monitor scheduled forestry activities.

Development and Penalties

When landowners enroll land in UVA, the State records a lien on the property in the town records. This lien guarantees that Vermont can collect the Land Use Change Tax if the land is developed. Currently, the tax is 20% of the fair market value for lands enrolled 10 tax years or less and 10% for lands enrolled continuously for more than 10 tax years. The definition of "development" includes subdivisions creating parcels less than 25 acres, buildings or roads not used for farming or forestry, commercial mining, excavation, energy generation or communication structures, and other non-conforming uses or the cutting of timber contrary to published silvicultural standards for UVA and/or the approved management plan. The lien that subjects the parcel to the Land Use Change Tax remains with the land until it is paid.

Owners of enrolled forest land that is harvested contrary to the management plan or the silvicultural standards may be subject to the Land Use Change Tax on the acres cut contrary. The lien is removed from only that portion. Additionally, the entire forest parcel becomes ineligible for UVA for a period of five tax years. The property may be re-enrolled after five tax years with a plan that addresses the current forest conditions. The parcel may lose its eligibility if the landowner fails to follow his/her forest management plan or other ongoing program responsibilities listed above including required updates.

Withdrawal

To withdraw a parcel, a landowner must file a Notice of Development or Discontinuance form with the Division of Property Valuation & Review. If only a portion of a parcel is withdrawn, a modified forest management plan and map explaining the change in acreage must be filed with the county forester. The Division of Property Valuation & Review requires two copies of the amended map along with the Notice of Development or Discontinuance.

Landowners who wish to clear the title (remove the lien), must pay the Land Use Change Tax.

For more information on the Use Value Appraisal Program Manual .


UVA Deadline Dates

September 1st -Applications must be received or postmarked by Current Use Office (PV&R).

October 1st -Forest Management Plans are due for two categories:

  • New applications
  • Adding acreage to enrolled parcels

Extensions may be granted if the landowner can satisfy to the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation that they were prevented by “accident”, “mistake” or “misfortune” from filing the plan by the October 1st deadline. 

February 1st -Forest Management Activity Reports (FMAR’s)are due.

Extensions may be granted, if the landowner can satisfy to the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation that they were prevented by “accident”, “mistake” or “misfortune” from filing the FMAR by the February 1st deadline.

March 1st   No Forest Management Activity Report shall be received later than this date.

April 1st Deadline for updated Forest Management Plans (regular ten year revisions) and for properties that were transferred in the previous year.


Forms and Information

Current Use Office (Division of Property Valuation & Review, VT Department of Taxes)

Forms & Information for enrollment:

Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation

Information related to enrolling and managing forest land:




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