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Present Use Value Tax Deferral Program

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Present Use Value Assessment (Also Known as Land Use Program)

Tax deferments may be referred to as use value assessment, present use value or "roll back taxes". Properly referred to as use value, the term means the value of land in its current use as agricultural land, horticultural land, forestland or historical properties.  Please refer to NC Department of Revenue form AV-4 regarding all aspects of this program. These laws are applicable to all counties in the state of North Carolina.

All applications must be filed during the regular listing period (January 1 - January 31) or within 30 days of the notification of change in value.

Present Use Value forms AV-3 through AV-7 

AV-3 Voluntary Payment of Deferred Taxes Without Requesting Disqualification

AV-4 North Carolina General Statutes Pertaining to Present-Use Value Assessment and Taxation of Agricultural, Horticultural, and Forestlands

AV-5 Application for Agriculture, Horticulture, and Forestry Present-Use Value Assessment (Web Fill-in Form)

AV-5  Application for Agriculture, Horticulture, and Forestry Present-Use Value Assessment (Blank Printable)

AV-6 Request for Voluntary Disqualification from Present Use Value Classification

AV-7 Request for Estimate of Deferred Taxes

PUV Fact Sheet 

For all tax office documents click here.

There are four basic programs involved:

1.  Agricultural: Agricultural land means land that is a part of a farm unit actively engaged in the commercial production or growing of crops, plants, or animals under a sound management program. Agricultural land may include some woodland and wasteland, but it must be appraised as woodland and wasteland. Agricultural applicants owning more than 20 acres of timber must have a forest management plan on file. The requirements for an agricultural deferment are as follows: 

  • The property may consist of more than one tract of agricultural land, but at least one of the tracts must meet the qualification requirements and each tract must be under a sound management program. 
  • The property must consist of at least 10 acres in actual production of commercial products. 
  • The property must have produced an average gross income of at least one thousand dollars ($1,000) for the three year's prior to January 1 of the year in which this benefit is claimed. Gross Income includes income from the sale of agricultural products produced on the land and any payments received under a government soil conservation or land retirement program. 
  • If individually owned, the property must be the owner's residence or have been owned by the current owner or a relative of the current owner for four years prior to January 1 of the year in which this benefit is claimed.

2.  Forestland: Forestland is land that is a part of a forest unit that is actively engaged in the commercial growing of trees under a sound management program. Forestland includes wasteland that is a part of the forest unit, but the wasteland included in the unit shall be appraised under the use value schedules as wasteland. The requirements for a forestland deferment are as follows:

  • The property may consist of more than one tract of forestland, but at least one of the tracts must meet the qualification requirements and each tract must be under a sound management program.
  • One tract must consist of at least 20 acres that are in actual production and are not included in a farm unit.
  • If individually owned, the property must be the owner's residence or have been owned by the current owner or a relative of the current owner for four years prior to January 1 of the year in which the benefit is claimed.

3.  Horticultural: Horticultural land is land that is a part of a horticultural unit that is actively engaged in the commercial production or growing of fruits or vegetables or nursery or floral products under a sound management program. Horticultural land may include some woodland and wasteland that is a part of the horticultural unit, but these lands included in the unit shall be appraised under the use value schedules as woodland or wasteland. The requirements for a horticultural deferment are as follows:

  • The property may consist of more than one tract of horticultural land, but at least one of the tracts must meet the qualification requirements and each tract must be under a sound management program.
  • One tract must consist of at least 5 acres that are in actual production.
  • The property must have produced an average gross income of at least one thousand dollars ($1,000) for the three years prior to January 1 of the year in which this benefit is claimed. Gross income includes income from the sale of the horticultural products produced from the land and any payments received under a governmental soil conservation or land retirement program.
  • If individually owned, the property must be the owner's residence or have been owned by the current owner or relative of the current owner for four years prior to January 1 of the year in which the benefit is claimed.

The following applies to agricultural, forestland and horticultural deferments only: If property loses its eligibility for any reason, deferred taxes become due for the current year plus three years, plus interest for all prior years. If only a part of the qualifying tract loses its eligibility, a determination shall be made of the amount of deferred taxes applied to that portion of the property and that amount shall become payable, along with interest due. 

4.  Historical: Historical property is real property designated as a historic structure or site by a local ordinance adopted by the Historical Property Commission and approved by the Board of Commissioners. Property that is classified as historical shall be taxed on the basis of fifty percent (50%) of the true appraised value. After property has been designated as historical property, the owner is required to contact the local Tax Listing Office for a historical deferment application.

The deferred taxes will not become due unless or until the property loses its eligibility for the benefit of this classification. This could occur because of a change in a local ordinance designation or a change in the property which causes its historical significance to be lost or substantially impaired.

If the property no longer qualifies for use value, the tax for the current year shall be computed at the original assessed value without the 50% deferment and taxes for the three preceding years that have been deferred shall become due and payable with any interest or penalties that would normally accrue. If only a part of the historical property loses its eligibility for the classification, a determination shall be made of the amount of deferred taxes applied to that portion of the property and the taxes shall be due and payable, with interest or penalties that would normally accrue.


Need additional information?
  Please contact Cynthia Campbell at 919-545-8327 or email: Cynthia.campbell@chathamnc.org