Learn about land use

Published 12:47 pm Thursday, July 6, 2017

Though the issue brought with it heated discussion and raised emotions 10 years ago, it’s our hope that members of the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors, along with planners, county officials and, most importantly, residents and taxpayers of the county, will seek to understand before casting judgment on the subject of land use taxation.

Members of the board of supervisors and planning commission are set to discuss the topic in an upcoming meeting that hasn’t yet been scheduled.

The matter arose weeks ago when Ivan “Chip” Davis, president of the Buckingham Farm Bureau, approached the planning commission regarding their learning more about the concept, which allows a locality to assess real estate based on the use value instead of fair market value.

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There’s no doubt that the industries of agriculture and timber are vital and integral parts of the economy of Buckingham County. Ways to improve the county’s economy — whether it’s through new programs or bringing in new businesses — should always be on the minds of those who govern.

Davis said Farm Bureau felt it time to re-educate both the board, commission and themselves  “and bring in the experts that could tell us more about land use and land use assessment and how it could benefit farmers and our county.”

We agree with the approach Davis has about the concept, along with that of District Four Supervisor Morgan Dunnavant.

“I believe we have an obligation to hear their presentation … We need to hear what they have to say,” Dunnavant said.

Though this is in no way, shape or form an endorsement of land use taxation — or a strike against it — we do endorse the idea of learning more about the concept before casting judgment.