Local Incentives

Development Fee Rebate  - Zones #1 and #2

  • Rebates 90% of fees for rezoning, use permit, and subdivision applications and site pans reviews and 50% of building plan rewview and building permit fees (excluding state levy) to qualifying developments.
  • Rebates are received after Certificate of Occupancy.
  • Qualifying developments are new construction or improvements to an existing structure totaling $50,000 or more that results in a net increase in the property's real estate assessment as determined by the City Assessor.
  • Applications consists of two parts; Part 1 must be submitted to the local Enterprise Zone administrator within 10 days of obtaining required permits; and Part 2 must be submitted to the administrator within 120 days of Certificate of Occupancy.

Business Personal Property Investment Grant - Zones #1 and #2

  •  Cash grants equal 50% of the net increase in business personal property taxes and paid over five years.
  • Grants are paid semi-annually after a performance agreement is signed with the Portsmouth EDA and after all taxes are paid to the City.
  • Must invest at least $100,000 in new business personal property.
  • Must create five (5) new jobs.
  • Have a current business license and authorize the Commissioner of the Revenue to release pertinent tax data.
  • The firm must apply within 12 months of meeting all qualifications; jobs and investment targets  must be met within 12 months of each other.

 *If located in Zone #2 and the investment exceeds $500,000, the grant equals 60%.


Machinery and Tool Investment Grant  - Zones #1 and #2  

  • Cash grants equal 50% of net increase in machinery and tool taxes and paid over five years.
  • Grants are paid semi-annually after a performance agreement is signed with the Portsmouth EDA and after all taxes are paid to the City.
  • Must invest at least $500,000 in new taxable machinery and tools.
  • Must create at least five (5) new jobs.
  • Must authorize the Commissioner of Revenue to release pertinent tax data.
  • The firm must apply within 12 month of meeting all qualifications; jobs and investment tagets must be met within twelve (12) months of each other.

 * If located in Zone #2 and the investment exceeds $1,000,000, the grant equals 60%.  If the investment exceeds $2,500,000, the grant equals 75%.

Commercial Façade Loan Program - Zone #1 only

  • $5,000 to $50,000 loans from the Portsmouth Redevelopment & Housing Authority for commercial and mixed-use building façade renovations.
  • Terms are 2% below prime for 10 years with a floor of 3%
  • Limited to contiguous zone are from Downtown waterfront to Midtown.

Corridor Streetscape Improvement Incentive  - Zone #1 only

  • Acceleration of planned streetscape improvements affecting commercial or mixed-use developments of at least $25 million (subject to availability of adequate capital funding).

Mixed-Use Development Incentive - Zone #1 only

  • If needed to facilitate a mixed-use development of at least $25 million, an appropriately scaled public contribution can be negotiated with the developers. 

Environmental Restoration Site Tax Exemption - Zone #1 and #2
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 if 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 five-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 form 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
  • Download the application here

Properties located within 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 - Zones #1 and #2
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 an 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 to 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 structures 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 eventof a complete replacement, the portion of the replacement is eligible for ht eral estate tax exemptiom shall not exceed 110% of the square footage of the original structure. 

*** The term mixed-use means any building developed as a 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.