Riparian Forest Buffer Tax Credit
Conservation Incentive Program Fact Sheet

  • Program Name: Riparian Forest Buffer Tax Credit
  • Abbreviation: None.
  • Primary Goal: Provide an incentive to landowners through a tax credit for preserving riparian forest buffers along waterways during a timber harvest operation.
  • Contact Agency: Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF)
  • Where Applicable: Statewide.
  • Other Sources of Information: VDOF Web site.

Prepared by Virginia State Technical Advisory Committee.

Program Description and Requirements

The 2000 Virginia General Assembly enacted the Riparian Buffer Tax Credit to provide a nonrefundable tax credit to:

  • Individuals, S-Corporations or Partnerships; Estates and Trusts are not eliible for this tax credit, but Family Partnerships and Limited Liability Corporations are eligible.
  • owning land on which timber is harvested,
  • which abuts a waterway,
  • and who forbears timber harvesting on certain portions of the land for 15 consecutive years.

The amount of the credit is equal to 25 percent of the value of the timber retained as a buffer up to a specified limit. The buffer must be at least 35 feet wide and no more than 300 feet and be intact for 15 years.The applicant must have a Stewardship Plan for the tract to qualify. A separate application must be completed for each tract.

All programs, activities, and services of the conservation partnership are available to people on a nondiscriminatory basis regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, physical ability, political affiliation, and marital or familial status. We are all equal opportunity employers.