Citywide Incentives

Environmental Restoration Site Tax Exemption
To encourage the remediation of environmentally contaminated sites and construction of new real estate improvements, the City of Portsmouth has a city-wide program providing a five-year real estate tax exemption for environmental restoration sites. 

  • Tax exemption is on the full assessed value of land and improvements up to a maximum of $3,000,000. Any assessed value in excess of $3,000,000 is fully taxable.
  • An environmental restoration site is real estate containing or having contained environmental contamination from the release of hazardous substances, hazardous wastes, solid waste or petroleum, the restoration of which would abate or prevent pollution to the atmosphere or waters and is subject to voluntary remediation.
  • The 5-year period begins on the date the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issues a certification of voluntary completion for the property.
  • The property owner must provide the City Assessor a certification of voluntary completion from DEQ showing that the property qualifies as an environmental restoration site, and a certificate of continued eligibility from the Virginia Waste Management Board for each of the subsequent years of the five-year tax exemption period.
  • The property owner must be current on all other taxes due to the City of Portsmouth.

Properties located within Enterprise Zone #2

  • Up to a maximum assessed value of $5,000,000. Any value in excess of $5,000,000 is fully taxable.

For more information, contact the City Assessor’s office at 757-393-8631.


Tax Exemption for Rehabilitated Structures

City Council has approved an ordinance enacting a tax exemption for real estate that is substantially repaired, rehabilitated, or replaced. The tax exemption program encourages renovation and revitalization of aging structures.

  • Building must be 25 years old.
  • Residential rehabilitation must increase the base assessed value by at least 40% with less than 15% structural addition.*
  • Commercial and industrial rehabilitation must increase the base value by at least 60% with less than 15% structural addition.**
  • The owner or agent must file application along with a $50.00 application fee, with the City Assessor within 10 days after obtaining building permits to perform the rehabilitation.
  • The exemption period is 10 years

Properties located within Enterprise Zone #1 or #2

  • Applies to qualifying commercial, industrial and mixed-use properties.***
  • The $50 application fee is waived.
  • The building age requirement is reduced to 15 years.
  • If base assessed value increases by at least 100%, qualifying properties may receive an additional 5 years of partial exemption.

*If the total square footage of such rehabilitated, renovated, or replacement structure exceeds that of the original structure by more than 15%, the excess square footage above said additional 15% shall not be entitled to the real estate exemption.

**In the event of a complete replacement, the portion of the replacement eligible for the real estate tax exemption shall not exceed 110% of the square footage of the original structure.

***The term mixed-use means any building developed as mixed-use as defined in Chapter 40.1 of the City Code.

For more information, contact the City Assessor’s office at 757-393-8631.