Loudoun County Broadens Tax Exemptions for Farming Community

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. — In a significant move to support the local agricultural community, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, during their public hearing on October 11, 2023, approved key amendments to the county’s tax-related codified ordinances. These changes, particularly within Chapter 860.06 concerning tax exemptions, are set to benefit farmers and agricultural producers starting January 1, 2024.

The revision in the Codified Ordinances of Loudoun County comes under Chapter 860.06 – “Exemptions for Farm Animals, Certain Grains, Agricultural Products, Farm Machinery, Farm Implements, and Equipment.” This chapter historically offers relief for the agricultural community from specific personal property taxes, a system now expanded to include additional farm-related items.

Under the new regulations, the following are exempt from personal property taxes:

  1. Motor vehicles are utilized primarily for agricultural purposes, providing relief for those not mandated to obtain a registration certificate, license plate, decal, or pay a registration fee under the current Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ provisions.
  2. Privately owned trailers are employed predominantly by farmers for operational purposes, specifically for transporting farm animals or agricultural products. This exemption is a monumental step in reducing the financial burdens placed on farmers maintaining larger equipment necessary for modern farming practices.
  3. Season-extending hoop houses that play a crucial role in the in-field production of produce. These structures, vital for extending the growing seasons of various crops, previously garnered considerable taxes, given their classification under property assets.

These exemptions come after extensive discussions and public comment periods where local farmers and agricultural businesses cited the financial pressures of maintaining competitive operations in the region. Loudoun County, known for its rich agricultural history and as home to a diverse range of farms — from livestock through to wineries and crop-growing operations — has often searched for a balance in policy that supports its agricultural heritage while managing economic growth.

The move is expected to have wide-reaching positive impacts on the local agricultural economy. By reducing the tax burden on farmers, particularly smaller, family-run farms that make up a significant portion of Loudoun County’s agricultural landscape, the Board of Supervisors aims to encourage more sustainable and thriving farming practices.

Supporters of the amendments argue that they will help keep farming in Loudoun County profitable and sustainable, allowing farmers to invest more in their businesses, implement new farming technologies, and potentially pass on savings to local consumers.

However, those in the farming community must note that these exemptions apply explicitly under the criteria set out in the ordinance amendments. All agricultural business owners considering these new exemptions should refer to the detailed conditions and stipulations outlined in the updated Chapter 860.06.

For a deeper understanding of these changes or to explore how they might affect individual circumstances, residents and local farmers are encouraged to visit the Loudoun County government’s official website at loudoun.gov/taxes. This resource offers extensive information on the county’s tax policies, guidelines, and contact information for departments that can assist with inquiries about these new exemptions.

Through these amendments, Loudoun County reaffirms its commitment to preserving the vitality and tradition of its agricultural community, echoing its dedication to supporting the hard-working individuals who continue to make the region Virginia’s agricultural stronghold.