Land Use / Land Cover
Years of Implementation
The Virginia Agricultural BMP Tax Credit Program, instituted in 1989, is a voluntary tax relief program administered by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation in partnership with local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs). The tax incentive program “supports the voluntary installation of BMPs that support Virginia’s nonpoint source pollution water quality objectives,” including plans to protect surface and ground water.
SWCD biologists provide technical assistance to farmers enrolled in the program in developing a conservation plan aimed at improving management activities that can reduce nonpoint-source pollution. After installation of a SWCD-approved conservation plan, “agricultural producers may take a credit against state income tax of 25 percent of the first [US]$70,000 spent on agricultural BMPs.” “The amount of the tax credit may not exceed [US]$17,500 or the total state income tax obligation. Starting with tax year 2011, any unusable tax credit—i.e., exceeding the state tax obligation—will be refunded to the taxpayer by the Virginia Department of Taxation” (VDCR 2016).
Amount of the Incentive
“Agricultural producers with a conservation plan approved by their Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) may take a credit against state income tax of 25 percent of the first [US]$70,000 spent on agricultural BMPs. The amount of the tax credit may not exceed [US]$17,500 or the total state income tax obligation.”