The Department of General Service’s Urban Farming Program (UFP) consists of both the Urban Farming Land Lease Program and the Urban Farming Tax Abatement Programs, both are now underway in 2018. One of the primary objectives of the UFP is to increase urban agriculture production in the District of Columbia. Urban farms, both public and private, will support a more sustainable, equitable, and resilient food system.The UFP will empower communities, reduce food deserts, and create equitable access to locally sourced fresh and affordable healthy food. Vacant and underutilized lands, across the city, are envisioned to be transformed into thriving farms that increase the quality of life and health for all District residents.
Urban farming has environmental, social, and economic implications for the District’s future. Urban farming can create local jobs, engage youth , and allow residents more opportunity to connect with nature and their community. Access to fresh food is a public health issue that disproportionally affects our most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Making fresh, healthy, and affordable food equitably available across the District is essential to improving the overall health and wellness of the District and is a core objective of the UFP.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR PREPARING A REAL PROPERTY URBAN FARMING TAX ABATEMENT APPLICATION PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY
These instructions apply to an owner’s application for an up to 90% tax abatement of real property taxes for the portion of property used continuously as an urban farm. Do not delete or alter any part of the application. Complete all sections. If a question is not applicable, mark "n/a." If you need more room to respond to a question, attach supplemental pages. Mark all supplemental pages with the applicant’s name, the property address and the question number. Fill out the form accurately and double check all of your answers. Provide all of the square footage measurements requested for DGS to verify your calculations. Be sure to also accurately calculate the percentage of property used as a farm. This, in addition to the annual beginning and end dates of farm utilization will be what determines your tax abatement amount.
This will be a two part certification process. First you will apply to participate in the program, providing all of the requested information. Once your application is accepted, your application will be processed and entered into the DGS Urban Farming Tax Abatement (UFTA) program and recorded as a participating member. If your application is not accepted you will be notified within 30 days. The second part of the application will involve a DGS site visit(s) to your location. The objective of the site visit will be to verify the information given on the UFTA application as well as verify the continual use of the farm during the dates proposed. Once approved, your farm application will be certified and sent to the Office of Tax revenue for processing. Site visits will be scheduled in advance and will likely be scheduled to align with the tax years.